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Study: iPad Could Cause Magnetic Interference With Implanted Heart Devices

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Simon Bruty)

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Simon Bruty)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A new study has found that the iPad 2 could interfere with the functionality of implanted cardioverter defibrillators.

The study – whose research team was led by a 14-year-old girl – looked into the effects of iPads on implants designed to control cardiac rhythm, WebMD is reporting.

Lead researcher Gianna Chien and her team found that, when iPad 2 owners who participated in the study fell asleep with the devices on their chests, magnets inside of the Apple-manufactured tablet caused interference with the function of the defibrillators.

The medical website specifically learned that thirty percent of study participants with an iPad 2, as well as its Smart Cover, experienced electromagnetic interference that could lead to future complications.

Conversely, when the iPads were kept a reasonable distance from the body, researchers reportedly saw no issues with magnetic interference. Increased body fat also allegedly staved off the negative effects of the magnets.

Gianna, a high school freshman who collaborated with her father, cardiologist Dr. Walter Chien, will present her findings at the annual meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society.

Further research would be needed to determine the effects of other magnetic devices, such as cell phones, on implanted cardioverter defibrillators, WebMD learned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, heart attacks could cause irregular heart rhythms in need of regulating from an implanted device. The website for the CDC recommends seeking immediate treatment for heart attacks to avoid such consequences, or extensive heart muscle damage.

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