AfterDawn: Tech news

iPods can affect pacemakers?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 May 2007 18:54 User comments (15)

iPods can affect pacemakers? A study presented by a 17 year old high school student to a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday showed proof that Apple Inc.'s iPod player can cause cardiac implantable pacemakers to malfunction by interfering with the electromagnetic equipment monitoring the heart. Many other types of MP3 players or portable devices could also have the same effect, but this study only covered iPods.
One hundred patients, whose mean age was 77, were tested as part of the study. Results showed that electrical interference was detected half of the time when the device was held about 2 inches away from the patient's chest for a duration of just 5 to 10 seconds. In some cases, interference was detected at distances up to 18 inches.

Such interference causes the device to misread the heart's pacing and in one case caused the pacemaker to stop functioning altogether. The study was held at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State University and the results were presented at the Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting in Denver.

Jay Thaker, lead author of the study, concluded that the interference can lead to physicians misdiagnosing actual heart function. Thaker was put in touch with Dr. Krit (Jongnarangsin), after asking his father, who is an electrophysiologist, about a potential interaction between pacemakers and iPods.

"Most pacemaker patients are not iPod users," Jongnarangsin said. For that reason, he said, it is unclear how often iPods cause misdiagnoses. He said that this issue needs further study.

Source:
Reuters

Previous Next  

15 user comments

113.5.2007 19:22

I gotta say this is pretty creepy, If possible Apple needs to address this. So many people use pace makers there days its a risk to large section of the population.

213.5.2007 19:58

The story should have emphasized that it's only the hard drive models that are a threat. Nanos and Shuffles are harmless. This really isn't news, anyway. You shouldn't get any hard-drive-based technology close to a pacemaker. At usable range, the signals going across those heads are more powerful than the magnetron seepage from microwaves and way more powerful than the measly effect of the already-banned cellphones. The electrical impulses from the pacemaker and the body's own electrical system are so tiny that they're easily overwhelmed. Mu shielding would make them safer, but also heavier and more expensive. Frankly, iPods are overpriced as it is.

313.5.2007 23:07

This is intresting that this could happen. I am going to forward this to my father he may like to read this one and may tell his patients to not use the device.

414.5.2007 5:06

this 17yo boy works for sony ? microwaves also affects pacemakers but i dont see anyone making a complaint about microwave ovens or electromagnetic fields or what they are called. So i dont see anything new in here.

514.5.2007 5:24

Originally posted by tribbb:
this 17yo boy works for sony ? microwaves also affects pacemakers but i dont see anyone making a complaint about microwave ovens or electromagnetic fields or what they are called. So i dont see anything new in here.
Microwaves are so diluted it rarely causes a problem but since the HDD is closer to body and its EM waves are a bit stronger it can cause enough interference to be worried about....

614.5.2007 5:40

my point is that there are so many things that can affect pacemakers and by accusing ipod for such malfunctions is so lame. It seems to me they are looking for a scapegoat. Ipod sells great and the other firms are not happy. Its just buisness.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 May 2007 @ 5:41

714.5.2007 5:42

Originally posted by tribbb:
my point is that there are so many things that can affect pacemakers and by accusing ipod for such malfunctions is so lame. Its seems to me they are looking for a scapegoat. Ipod sells great and the other firms are not happy. Its just buisness.
well most of the other stuff you don't "wear" so forcing them to have warnings and crap to state that the HD ones can screw with pacemakers is not a evil idea.

814.5.2007 5:58

i agree, anyway i dont even own an ipod but this article is mixed up.

Title "iPods can affect pacemakers?"

Text "Many other types of MP3 players or portable devices could also have the same effect"

Why ipod has to take the blame ? Make a study for 30-40 other mp3 players and see the results. I dont think there is going to be a big difference.

914.5.2007 6:03

Originally posted by tribbb:
i agree, anyway i dont even own an ipod but this article is mixed up.

Title "iPods can affect pacemakers?"

Text "Many other types of MP3 players or portable devices could also have the same effect"

Why ipod has to take the blame ? Make a study for 30-40 other mp3 players and see the results. I dont think there is going to be a big difference.
between the short attention spans of the suits and the sheeple you need to nail a big name to the wall so everyone will take notice its easier for it to trickle down to "like" devices after words.

1014.5.2007 6:16
natony
Inactive

Hahaha, this is such a load of crap. I mean anyone with a basic knowledge of electrical fields will understand that any changing electrical field near a sensitive device will have an effect. Sitting in front of a CRT monitor, or near a microwave, or near an amplifier would probably have a greater effect. To place any blame on such a low current device like an mp3 player is fairly narrow minded and misguided.

Let's think... what else causes chaning electric or magnetic fields...
Driving near powerlines.
Travelling in an aeroplane.
Travelling on electric trains.
Starting a car engine.
Posting a comment on afterdawn.com

Really... put this in perspective

1115.5.2007 20:35

Do pacemakers carry that warning that the device must accept any interference caused? That sticker is on most everything else electronic.

1215.5.2007 22:36

Unfocused
pace makers are a bit more "special" bedise put a TV on a microwave and you cant see sht while the microwave is on it might "function" but it wont "work".

the point of intrefreance testing/warning is not to have the device blow up merely but slightly functioning.

1314.5.2012 13:11
MaryMercury
Unverified new user

Originally posted by tribbb:
my point is that there are so many things that can affect pacemakers and by accusing ipod for such malfunctions is so lame. It seems to me they are looking for a scapegoat. Ipod sells great and the other firms are not happy. Its just buisness.
First of all, the 17 year old boy is the son of 2 physicians. One a cardiologist who is an electro cardiology physician. Secondly the doctor that also provided information on this is the head of the U of Michigan and VA Electrophysicology Cardiology Residency program who has a number of years of reseach behind his name. You don't have to believe anything you read, but, if you use an iPod alot and have a pacemaker and find you have problems with your packmaker, well, go figure. My father had a pacemaker and when he went to Hospice at the end of his life, they shut off his pacemaker with a plain ordinary magnet. So sometimes what you read is true.

1414.5.2012 13:34

Originally posted by MaryMercury:
Originally posted by tribbb:
my point is that there are so many things that can affect pacemakers and by accusing ipod for such malfunctions is so lame. It seems to me they are looking for a scapegoat. Ipod sells great and the other firms are not happy. Its just buisness.
First of all, the 17 year old boy is the son of 2 physicians. One a cardiologist who is an electro cardiology physician. Secondly the doctor that also provided information on this is the head of the U of Michigan and VA Electrophysicology Cardiology Residency program who has a number of years of reseach behind his name. You don't have to believe anything you read, but, if you use an iPod alot and have a pacemaker and find you have problems with your packmaker, well, go figure. My father had a pacemaker and when he went to Hospice at the end of his life, they shut off his pacemaker with a plain ordinary magnet. So sometimes what you read is true.
Why would you post on a news article that is almost 5 years old. Thats almost twice your age, quit botherin people.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 May 2012 @ 13:35


1514.5.2012 14:50

Crazy reminds me of radio shielding for fiber optic lines.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive