Radiation is the real-life boogey man of our times. It lurks everywhere from cell phones and airport scanners to mammograms and other medical devices, and exposure is cumulative, building up over a lifetime. Its effects can be devastating to humans and nature, and FDA is also testing to see what it does to medical devices.
The Wall Street Journal reports that researchers in FDA's Silver Spring, MD, labs are bombarding devices, including pacemakers and hearing aids, with radiation in an anechoic chamber, which is built to absorb electromagnetic rays. Their efforts have shed light on phenomena such as why patients with spinal chord stimulators collapsed after going through metal detectors and why a certain electrical wheelchair tended to start up and drive by itself. They're also looking into mysteries like why patients with hearing aids hear a screeching sound when they use a cell phone.
Howard Bassen, head of the FDA's electromagnetics and wireless laboratory, told the paper that most consumer technologies do not appear to interfere with medical devices. But the administration is also testing the impact of new technologies, such as RFID tracking for retail inventory.
Is this something your company takes into account when designing a device?