This document addresses questions related to the Wi-Fi technology used in Vocera B3000-series badges and their compatibility with implantable devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators.
Implantable devices are closely regulated by the FDA and have specific safety standards that they must conform to. The primary standard to which they must conform is IEC60601-1 4th edition. IEC60601-1 covers many aspects of implantable devices including mechanical, thermal and electrical safety.
A companion standard, IEC60601-1-2 specifically addresses the immunity of implantable devices to the effects of electromagnetic energy (radio waves). “Immunity” refers to the level of radio frequency energy that the implantable device can be exposed to with no compromises to functionality and safety. For the radio frequencies used by Vocera B3000 series badges, an implantable device must be immune to the following signals.
• 2.4GHz Wi-Fi - immunity to a signal strength of 2 Watts
• 5GHz Wi-Fi – immunity to a signal strength of 200 milliwatts
There are a large number of devices that operate in the 2.4GHz spectrum, including Wi-Fi communication products, Bluetooth devices and microwave ovens. Therefore the likelihood of encountering 2.4GHz radio signals in the work place is very high. This accounts for the higher immunity requirement of 2.4GHz over 5GHz. There are far fewer products that operate in the 5GHz spectrum, Wi-Fi communication products and radar being the most common.
The Vocera B3000 series badges operate at relatively low power levels in order to extend battery life and limit the area covered by their radio signals. The B3000 series badges transmit radio signals at the following levels:
• 2.4GHz Wi-Fi - a maximum signal strength of 43milliwatts
• 5GHz Wi-Fi – a maximum signal strength of 43milliwatts
The maximum levels of energy emitted by Vocera B3000 series badges are far below the minimum levels of immunity that implantable devices conforming to IEC60601-1-2 are required to meet and would therefore have no impact on the implantable devices.
Vocera technology has bridged our communication gaps – allowing instant hands-free voice calls, improving patient care coordination, and enhancing staff and patient safety by reducing response times.Norman Bowman, Clinical Ward Administrator at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
The Vocera numbers speak for themselves, and they show this technology can dramatically reduce the time it takes to connect with a colleague and get a response. That has a real impact on the care we provide.Adrian Plunkett, Paediatric Intensivist Consultant at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Vocera Badges allow our team to safely communicate under PPE during this COVID-19 pandemic.Victoria Sudron, Service Improvement Coordinator at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust
Since implementing Vocera, we no longer have communication delays due to the ‘page and wait’ scenario.Nick Roper, Clinical Director at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Trust
Vocera empowers people in mission-critical environments to instantly connect via secure, mobile, integrated and intelligent communication solutions.