News Column

Patent Application Titled "Proximity Based Selection of an Implantable Medical Device for Far Field Communication" Published Online

May 22, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Roberts, Earle T. (Maple Grove, MN); Villalta, Donald L. (Minneapolis, MN); Slack, David S. (Plymouth, MN); Ali, Irfan Z. (Woodbury, MN); Raghavendran, Sudheendhar (St. Anthony, MN); Torgerson, Nathan A. (Andover, MN); Sipple, Garrett R. (Circle Pines, MN), filed on January 3, 2014, was made available online on May 8, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Medtronic, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Conventionally, external devices such as clinician and patient programmers communicate with an implantable medical device (IMD) through a near field form of communication such as an inductive coupling. Due to the short range of the inductive coupling, a telemetry head is placed in close proximity to the IMD to establish the inductive link. Because the telemetry head has a very short range and consequently is in such close proximity to the IMD, there is essentially no risk of inadvertently communicating with a different nearby IMD.

"Far field communication has become an alternative to the use of near field links between external devices and implantable medical devices. Far field communication uses frequencies that allow for electromagnetic signal propagation over significantly larger distances than the maximum distance of near field links. This increased range of signals allows an external device to communicate with the IMD without placing a telemetry head in close proximity to the IMD. However, the increased range of the far field communication creates issues that are not a concern for near field links.

"In particular, far field communication by the external device creates the possibility that other IMDs besides the intended IMD are in communication range of the external device. Therefore, the external device must either have advance knowledge of an identifier of the desired IMD or the external device must receive a user selection from a list of IMDs that respond to a discovery signal by the external device. Requiring the user to select the proper IMD from a list adds extra time and burden to the process and also presents an opportunity for human error where the user may select the wrong device and/or application for an intended device."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments address issues such as these and others by providing devices, systems, and methods that utilize physical proximity of an external component relative to an intended IMD to allow the external device to select the intended IMD for a far field communication session and ultimately eliminate pairing between external devices and unintended IMDs within range of far field communications. One or more various forms of proximity communication occur between the external device and the IMD during the establishment of the far field communication session. The various forms of proximity communication occur within a short distance from the IMD so that the proximity communication intentionally does not extend to any unintended IMDs that may be nearby. In some cases, the physical proximity may be removed once the far field communication has been appropriately confirmed through the proximity communication. The pairing of the intended IMD with the external device may in some cases then allow for additional benefits such as the ability of the external device to automatically run the correct application for the intended IMD.

"A form of proximity communication may share unique information between the external device and the IMD that can then be verified using a far field communication. This allows the external device to confirm that the IMD is the intended one while unintended IMDs do not have access to the unique information and cannot verify the unique information through far field communication with the external device which allows the external device to filter out discovery responses from the unintended IMDs. A form of proximity communication may trigger the IMD to respond to a far field discovery request by the external device while unintended IMDs that do not receive a proximity communication at that time would not respond to the far field discovery request. A form of proximity communication may be used by one device to satisfy a challenge issued over a far field communication by the other device to confirm that the far field communication is between the devices that are in physical proximity to one another.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 shows a typical operating environment for embodiments where an external device and an IMD utilize proximity communication to establish a far field communication session.

"FIG. 2 shows components for one example of an external device embodiment.

"FIG. 3 shows components for one example of an IMD embodiment.

"FIG. 4 shows a first example of a procedure to establish a far field communication session where a unique value and/or key are shared via a proximity communication.

"FIG. 5 shows a second example of a procedure to establish a far field communication session where a challenge is issued by the IMD during a discovery phase.

"FIG. 6 shows a third example of a procedure to establish a far field communication session where the external device requests a challenge upon the far field communication session being established.

"FIG. 7 shows a fourth example of a procedure to establish a far field communication session where the IMD issues a challenge upon the far field communication session being established.

"FIG. 8 shows a fifth example of a procedure to establish a far field communication session where an encryption key is exchanged through a proximity communication.

"FIG. 9 shows a sixth example of a procedure to establish a far field communication session where the external device considers far field signal strength when selecting the IMD for the far field communication session."

For more information, see this patent application: Roberts, Earle T.; Villalta, Donald L.; Slack, David S.; Ali, Irfan Z.; Raghavendran, Sudheendhar; Torgerson, Nathan A.; Sipple, Garrett R. Proximity Based Selection of an Implantable Medical Device for Far Field Communication. Filed January 3, 2014 and posted May 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2519&p=51&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140501.PD.&OS=PD/20140501&RS=PD/20140501

Keywords for this news article include: Medtronic Inc.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Politics & Government Week


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