Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

September 20, 2000 | Volume 1, Issue 8

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Cardioverter-Defibrillator-Universal Remote Implanted

New device eliminates tachyarrythmias, unwanted commercials

HOUSTON, TX--Cardiothoracic surgeons at the University Of Texas Medical Center have successfully implanted the world's first cardioverter-defibrillator-universal remote, announced hospital officials during a press conference held yesterday in Houston.

The device, about the size of a deck of cards and weighing less than 7 oz., was reportedly developed over a period of ten years by a team headed by clinician-researcher Dr. Richard Blazell, who also helped perform the pioneering operation last week.
The new Medtronics ICDUR

The Medtronics ICDUR

Such "implantable cardioverter-defibrillator-universal remotes (ICDURs)," in addition to monitoring the cardiac rhythm and providing electrical shocks as necessary to terminate life-threatening tachyarrhythmias, will also allow individuals to control a variety of household gadgets and applicances, including televisions, VCR's, home audio systems, and garage doors.

"Before the ICDUR, patients with a history of potentially lethal arrhythmias needed to utilize a separate remote control for each household device, which would lead to a glut of remotes lying on the living room table," said Blazell. "The worst are those times when you can't find a remote when you really need it, and then the next day you it turns up wedged between the sofa cushions. I hate that!"

"The ICDUR eliminates those problems, AND prevents sudden cardiac death. [It's] the American homeowner's dream come true."

Nevertheless, ICDUR technology remains in its infancy. The current model (Medtronics CDR5767a) requires that the wearer provide an unobstructed path from his/her left nipple to the remote appliance, as most appliances require infrared for such communication, a drawback which is expected to initially limit the device's usefulness in the majority of the known civilized world.

Medtronics officials say they are working on a workaround to the issue.

An implantable universal remote without cardioverter-defibrillator capabilities is expected to debut by mid-2005.

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