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Replaceable RF Communications Card for Implantable Medical Device Programmers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016612D
Publication Date: 2003-Jul-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 491K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Sridhar Kothandaraman: INVENTOR [+2]

Abstract

Different telemetry schemes for a single external programmer are used with a variety of implantable medical devices. A standardized external programmer capable of receiving a variety of unique radio frequency (RF) cards is used to communicate and function with a variety of different implantable medical devices. The external programmer is capable of using a variety of different applications delivered through the RF cards and the RF communication capabilities of the RF cards to monitor and manipulate the parameters of each respective implantable medical device.

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Replaceable RF Communications Card for Implantable Medical Device Programmers

Background & Summary

This invention relates to implantable medical devices and, more particularly, to communication systems and methods used with external programmers for implantable medical devices.

Implantable medical devices (IMDs) are typically programmed using custom external programmer devices using radio frequency (RF) communications.  IMDs use differing frequencies and modulation schemes based on the application type (e.g., a cardiac pacemaker may use one RF scheme whereas spinal cord stimulators and/or cochlear implants may used different RF schemes).  Thus, individually different external programmers, each with their own telemetry scheme, are required in order to function with different IMDs.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,815,120 (the '120 patent) discloses a Local Area Network (LAN) card that uses an RF antenna to communicate with other devices.  The LAN card is capable of connecting to or interfacing with a personal computer or other similar device.  The '120 patent, however, does not teach the use of the LAN card in connection with the external programmers of an implantable medical device.

This invention provides different telemetry schemes for a single external programmer to be used with a variety of implantable medical devices.  This invention encapsulates a variety of unique RF schemes into a variety of separate cards, each with its own defined hardware and software interface.  A standardized external programmer capable of receiving each unique RF card is used to communicate and function with a variety of different implantable medical devices.  Different applications can then use the same external programmer with different RF cards and software to program their respective devices.  The RF card could be designed with custom hardware interface for an external programmer or could be designed with standard hardware interfaces (e.g., an USB interface to a host programmer, a compact flash interface, PCMCIA interface, or other interface).  This invention allows the programmer to be re-usable for different applications by swapping the RF card with another RF card with the respective software and firmware applications.  The end result is a substantial cost savings for manufacturers, clinicians, and patients who no longer need produce or purchase completely new and different external programmers for every new implantable medical device needed.

Description of Invention

As shown in FIG. 1,...