travisfarmer
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:33 pm
Location: Maine, USA
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is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 8:46 pm

asking for a friend, i do not have a pacemaker.
i know nothing about pacemakers, other than their basic function and purpose.
a friend has a pacemaker, and her son would like to use a Raspberry Pi, but she heard that Raspberry Pi computers, and Arduino microcontrollers were banned around a pacemaker. is this true? seems like there would be more warnings, if it was true.

~Travis
Most of my electronics/programming experience is in Arduino, but i am learning Rpi to broaden my projects capabilities.

dl324
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 7:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 8:54 pm

I doubt that WiFi or Bluetooth could have been certified if they interferred with a pacemaker. But it would be best for your friend to consult a cardiologist.

travisfarmer
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Location: Maine, USA
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Re: is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 9:00 pm

Thanks! i thought maybe, but wanted to be sure when i was asked.
I already said to my friend that a cardiologist may have a more definitive answer, but that also assumes said cardiologist knows what a Raspberry Pi is. ;)

~Travis
Most of my electronics/programming experience is in Arduino, but i am learning Rpi to broaden my projects capabilities.

Heater
Posts: 13080
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 9:00 pm

Banned by whom?

The Pi are subject to the electromagnetic emissions/interference testing by the FCC and such as mobile phones, laptops, PC's, wireless headsets, monitors, TV, and all that stuff. Are they banned as well?

If I had a pace maker it would take more than a friend of a friend saying they might have heard something from somewhere to stop me messing with electronics.

If I had a pace maker I would take directions from my doctor.

dl324
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 7:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 9:08 pm

travisfarmer wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:00 pm
but that also assumes said cardiologist knows what a Raspberry Pi is.
In that case, it's up to your friend to educate the cardiologist.

Pi Zero don't have WiFi or Bluetooth. That costs another $10 dollars. I did that because you can only buy Pi Zero W one at a time...

travisfarmer
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:33 pm
Location: Maine, USA
Contact: Website

Re: is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 9:12 pm

dl324 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:08 pm
In that case, it's up to your friend to educate the cardiologist.
excellent point, i will pass that along.

~Travis
Most of my electronics/programming experience is in Arduino, but i am learning Rpi to broaden my projects capabilities.

il_diavolo
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:56 pm

Re: is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 9:33 pm

My heart often beats faster when I play with my Raspberry Pi's. But I can be very positive that it does not affect my pacemaker in the slightest, it's my poor coding skills that cause me stress!

W. H. Heydt
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Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: is a RPi safe arround a pacemaker?

Mon May 20, 2019 11:31 pm

I don't have a pace maker...but my wife does.

She was given a considerable collection of literature, including what things to stay away from--and how far away to stay. Computers were not on the list. Contrary to the situation in prior years, microwave ovens are not on the current list, either. The one thing in the house that she has to keep away from (and away in this case means "at least 2 feet") is an induction cooking burner.

Of all the things a Pi puts out, EMF in the kilowatt range isn't one of them. Neither is lots of around 24KHz emissions.

So...Pis are not--in my immediate reading and experience--contra-indicated with pace makers. HOWEVER, this is not medical advice. If your friend is concerned, have the friend ask the cardiologist. If the cardiologist doesn't know, then he can ask the manufacturer.

Also...at least in my wife's case, the pace maker can be interogated and re-programmed non-invasively. I *think* the devices use BT to communicate, but it is very, very difficult to get straight answers from the manufacturer on these sorts of subjects. I should also note that, while the manufaturers own data indicate that some of their software is licensed under GPL, you can't get them to supply or provide a link to the source code of those modules--which puts them in violation of that license. I have not worked up the energy to try Threat of Copyright Suit to shake it loose....yet. (If *I* had the pace maker, I'd insist up front...)

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