October 13, 2005

Bluetooth pacemaker

I had never used any radio or broadcast technology before, nevermind Bluetooth, but when I got the new Philips KEKX00-g.alpha stroke-monitor notification enabler, I couldn't tune in fast enough. Let me give you some background.

Now, most of you with pacemaker notification systems are probably used to getting immediate updates about your condition or coming risks, but do you have it plotted in Microsoft Powerpoint-XML format and beamed directly to your surgeon's PalmPilot?

Got your attention?

Before, when I had strokes, my pacemaker monitor notification system would produce a crumpled dot-matrix printout of the past five minutes of vessel condition and pulse activity. I had to make sure I had enough ink in the tanks and that the paper was correctly spooled on the feeding pins, or else all activity was potentially irretrievable. I then needed to hurry to find stamps to send the package (after filling in a 3-page form) to my hospital. Starting to sound familiar?

Now, I can get a multimedia playback of high-risk pulse activity (based on risk rating I define) before any stroke occurs, and Bluetooth handles the transmission from my pacemaker to my cellphone, from where it beams up straight to the med. team.

The KEKX00-g comes in an onyx-black clamshell with smoked glass supporting ridges. If you opt for the .alpha ("dot alpha") model, you'll get a FireWire connector and tilted charger port. I keep my port holster linked up to my BlackBerry in the glovebox: it's a dream come true while podcasting.

The doctors thus know about my attack before it happens, and my oncoming stroke is announced by a vibration on my handset even before it's even thought of putting in an appearance. If I'm in company, I just excuse myself and head out to a spot where my violent reaction won't disturb anyone, and where the med. team locates me within seconds by GPS. It's a no-brainer.

So basically there's no match for the dot-matrix readout anymore. Even if you don't have vessel trouble, I recommend you get out there and download one of these puppies straight away. You can synchronise it with your Mac or Windows desktop for constant updates and record-keeping that goes back years... forget those five-minute printouts.

There have been only a few cases of interference from football broadcasts that use Bluetooth to vibrate the phone during goals. Just try not to watch these matches during moments when you are susceptible to strokes.

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