Pacemakers, Implantable Defibrillators, and 5G Technology: What We Need to Know

Health Phys. 2023 Sep 1;125(3):202-206. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000001699. Epub 2023 May 17.


Pacemakers (PM) and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) are active implantable medical devices (AIMD) needed in case of cardiac arrhythmias. Given their potentially life-sustaining nature, the interaction between any source of electromagnetic field and these AIMDs is an ongoing concern of patients, industry, and regulators. According to the current regulatory framework, the required immunity of PM and ICD provides a reasonable unperturbed behavior in the presence of cell phones and base stations that use pre-5G technologies. PM/ICD international standards do not consider some peculiar characteristics of 5G technology and some of the 5G technology frequency bands (those above 3 GHz), since these frequencies are considered not to add risks to the AIMD functioning. Here we analyze the theoretical issues about the interference between 5G technology and PM/ICD and propose an experimental approach to perform a measurement campaign.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy
  • Cell Phone*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*