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News From the Food and Drug Administration
May 6, 1998

Advisory on Medical Telemetry System Interference Problem

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JAMA. 1998;279(17):1339. doi:10.1001/jama.279.17.1339-JFD80003-3-1

The FDA has issued a public health advisory to alert hospital administrators, nursing home directors, and others to recent incidents involving digital television (DTV) transmissions interfering with medical telemetry systems that use TV channels. In one case, the telemetry system was operating on a TV channel that had been unused for many years, but had been recently reassigned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to a TV station in the vicinity of the hospital for DTV. The new TV signal interfered with the hospital's telemetry system and rendered it unusable. A second hospital in the same city was also affected. No patients were significantly affected.