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Effects of Hybrid/Electric Cars and Keyless Entry Systems on Implantable Cardiac Rhythm Devices

Background

The following information discusses the use of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) or electric vehicles (EVs) by patients with pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), as well as the use of keyless entry systems (“smart keys”).

Hybrid/Electric Vehicles: An HEV uses two or more distinct types of power, such as an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. An EV is an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device. St. Jude Medical performed informal testing to determine if HEVs or EVs would interfere with pacemakers or implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) manufactured by St. Jude Medical. Testing showed no evidence of inhibition or inappropriate sensing by the pacemaker or ICD. Additionally, patients have driven and ridden in HEVs and EVs with no reported adverse effects.

Keyless entry systems (“smart keys”): Keyless entry systems in automobiles are frequently provided in many newer automobiles. They operate by broadcasting radio waves on a particular frequency. Most keyless entry systems work on 315 MHz in North America and Japan, and 433.92 MHz in Europe. The functions of a keyless entry system are contained on the key fob or built into the ignition key handle itself. Buttons are dedicated to locking/unlocking the doors and trunk, and some keyless entry systems allow the engine to be started with the push of a button on the key fob. St. Jude Medical performed informal testing to determine if “smart key” entry systems would interfere with pacemakers or implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) manufactured by St. Jude Medical. Testing showed no evidence of inhibition or inappropriate sensing by the pacemaker or ICD from the transmitter or the sensors embedded within the cars. Additionally, patients have used these “smart key” systems with no reported adverse effects.

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact CRM Technical Services.

PDF Effects of Hybrid/Electric Cars and Keyless Entry Systems on Implantable Cardiac Rhythm Devices (226kb)
EMI TI16-100