Thursday, September 6, 2007

Finally, a fear of mobiles that is reasonably well-founded

I hate the random banishment of, well anything really, but mobile phones specifically. Because its so often for some unfounded reason. This was on a gas pump I used just the other day (hence, the awful quality from the KRZR): no phones on gas pump Its demonstrably untrue that mobile phones blow up gas pumps. Yet, I still see these, sometimes. And don't get me started on the misunderstanding of the danger of talking in cars, and the dumb laws resulting. But, finally, a useful and apparently rigorous study on interference in hospitals.
More than half the hospital ventilators tested by Dutch researchers stopped working properly when a mobile was switched on nearby. The [UK] government has said current bans on the use of mobile phones in hospitals can be relaxed. But the Critical Care journal study suggests it would be folly to do this in high dependency areas.
They do go on to mention that most interference was with 2G devices, and mostly at very, very close range. So, the polite measure of going into hallways for your talking seems like a good guideline, and worth doing. If you just banish them from hospital buildings entirely people will hide them and use them in rooms more often, I'd think. Okay, so that's interesting, but indeed its still dumb to me. Why? Because there are stacks of devices in hospitals, some of which probably emit radiation themselves. Some on purpose. Ever see WiFi in a hospital? Or other wireless networks? I do. Wireless tablets abound. Even the finance people have them. Seems to me the recommendation should be that medical equipment start being made to accept RF interference to a much higher degree than other devices. With the amazing ubiquity of mobile phones, and many more devices on many more networks on the horizon, its time for this sort of planning for any life, health and safety device.

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