It’s great being a heart transmission Beta tester. Are we having fun yet?

My heart surgeon sent me a box containing a device which purportedly reads my pacemaker via WIFI. I am, apparently, the only patient to whom they sent this device and thus never got around to explaining it to their tech crew. It came with instructions that had NO WORDS in it. Just pictures. This was to transfer the software from the computer to my iPhone. No one asked if I had an iPhone. As it happened, I’d only gotten one a few days before the device showed up. There was no human explanation and no words to follow. I’m not a good graphic learner, but between Owen and me, we more or less doped it out.  I had it explained and the tech crew was very polite, but helpless in the face of technology they’d never encountered.

Three months later, I had to transmit my pacemaker information via my jittery WIFI. Getting Charter to hold a steady transmission to the hospital is, to say the least, dicey. I also had to find some place on the sofa I could sit where the WIFI was steady … and find the exact place where I needed to put the device. I realized just find the place where it hurts when I press it. Voila. Somehow, with a lot of complexity, I managed to get it done. But I was still lost.

It turns out my heart is fine or as fine as it will ever be, but I am the only person in the heart department who got one of these. The ONLY person. No one knows anything about how the device or the software works. I finally saw on the iPhone that I had a completed transmission. What I didn’t know was if the transmission was received by anyone. When the tech called, she didn’t know anything at all because no one even told her anyone had gotten one of these devices. That was comforting. So I couldn’t ask any questions. Well, that’s not true. I could ask but I wouldn’t get any answers.

The tech finally agreed to just put the information in my chart. Somewhere along the line, I had to create a file that included what I thought was the serial number of the device, but turned out to be the serial number of my pacemaker. And then come up with an acceptable password. It was the password that finally put me over the top. I almost gave up.

I know this is modern medicine at it’s finest, but I’m exhausted. Going to the hospital would have been easier.

Categories: Anecdote

6 replies

  1. It may be quite different, but my friend in Santa Barbara has a pacemaker with no underlying heart beat. He has a monitor device that talks to the hospital — it makes connection by telephone on a weekly basis, and contacts him by phone if it doesn’t reach his heart. It can even manipulate the settings on the pacemaker. It reduces the frequency of office visits, and maintains contact with the device in such a way that if the battery begins to lose power that will be known ahead of time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, Marilyn.. I would have given up. I just can’t deal with this tech stuff and its constant changes. How did you happen to get this device and how is it that you had no one you could turn to? You couldn’t even call its developers? Boggles the mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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