Pacemaker Malfunction due to iPod? RRS feed

  • Question

  • A study carried out by a 17-year-old high school student reportedly reveals that Apple Computer's iconic iPod may after all cause cardiac implantable pacemakers to malfunction by interfering with the electromagnetic equipment used to monitor the heart.

    The study, conducted at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State University, revealed that iPods can cause electrical interference when held as far as 18-inches away from cardiac implantable pacemakers.
    The study was presented by Jay Thaker, an Indian student at the Okemos High School Electrical, during the Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting attended by heart specialists from across the US.

    The study was reportedly conducted on 100 patients, whose mean age was 77, and who had implanted pacemakers. In about half the study population, iPods caused electrical interference when held 2-inches away from the patient's chest for 5 to 10 seconds.

    Thaker said that during the study, they found various problems with the pacemakers. One device stopped functioning briefly; others picked up iPod signals, and put them in their memories.

    While co-author of the study, Dr Krit Jongnarangsin, admitted that most pacemaker patients are not iPod users, both Jongnarangsin and Thaker agreed in principle that pacemaker patients might get affected if they are in close proximity to others using iPods.

    Thaker concluded the study on the note that iPod interference can lead Physicians to misdiagnosing the actual heart functioning.

    Monday, May 14, 2007 7:14 AM

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