My father has a pacemaker implanted in his chest and recently had it replaced. Without it, he would die and that's not something our family wants. He and millions of others are alive because of the miraculous pacemaker that sends electricity to the heart muscle from a battery telling the heart to beat in rhythm. There are many dangers that confront heart patients who use pacemakers. Apple iPods shouldn't be one of them.
The potential danger posed by iPods was discovered by US high school student, Jay Thaker. His father is an electrophysiologist and mother is a rheumatologist. Young Mr. Thacker studied only the effects of the Apple iPod, but since other devices operate on the same technological principles and design, it could be assumed that other portable media devices could cause similar concerns.
Apple’s iPod interferes with the electromagnetic functioning of heart monitoring devices, according to a study carried out on 100 pacemaker wearers with the average age of 77.
The study, led by Jay Thaker, a US high school student, whose father is an electrophysiologist and mother is a rheumatologist, concluded that iPod interaction with pacemakers can lead to a misdiagnosis in heart function.
No other portable media devices apart from the iPod were used in this study, which was carried out at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State in the US.
Results found that 50pc of the time electrical interference was detected when the iPod was held two inches away from the pacemaker wearers chest for a period of five to ten seconds.
In a few cases the iPod was still causing interference when held up to 18 inches from the chest, and in one case the pacemaker stopped working completely.
Dr Krit Jongnarangsin, senior author of the study, said that this kind of test had never been carried out before because it was never really an issue, being that most pacemaker wearers tend not to have an iPod.
A study carried out in 1997 showed that mobile phones can cause temporary interference with a pacemaker and even cause irregular heart rhythm.
With advances in pacemaker technology users are generally told by mobile phone manufacturers that they are safe to use, only to avoid placing the handset in a shirt pocket where it could rest directly over the pacemaker.
Elderly iPod users skip a beat
By Marie Boran
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.