The FDA will put tracking codes on medical implants. Federal health regulators will keep tabs on millions of devices from pacemakers to hip replacements using a new electronic system designed the protect patients by catching problems with implants sooner.

The FDA issued the new rules last week requiring most medical devices sold in the US to carry a unique code identifying the make and manufacturing date along with other information.

The codes will be stored in a publicly accessible database to help regulators, doctors and companies monitor safety issues.

The system will be phased in over the next year.

--Rob Archer