Study: iPods can cause pacemakers to malfunction

posted at 10:00 am on May 11, 2007 by Allahpundit

I thought the people in the ads were dancing. Turns out they were convulsing.

Heart-ache — literally:

iPods can cause cardiac implantable pacemakers to malfunction by interfering with the electromagnetic equipment monitoring the heart, according to a study presented by a 17-year-old high school student to a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday.

The study tested the effect of the portable music devices on 100 patients, whose mean age was 77, outfitted with pacemakers. Electrical interference was detected half of the time when the iPod was held just 2 inches from the patient’s chest for 5 to 10 seconds…

In some cases, the iPods caused interference when held 18 inches from the chest. Interfering with the telemetry equipment caused 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. The results were presented at the Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting in Denver.

The good news is, there probably isn’t much overlap (yet) between the iPod market and the pacemarker market. Exit question: Is this good PR or bad PR for Apple’s newest competitor?


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Comments

Check your verb tense in the headline, eh.

JayHaw Phrenzie on May 11, 2007 at 10:03 AM

It took a seventeen year old kid to point this out to heart speciaists? I find that sort of funny.

vcferlita on May 11, 2007 at 10:07 AM

The good news is, there probably isn’t much overlap (yet) between the iPod market and the pacemarker market.

Oh, I don’t know about that

The Abbey Road walk re-creation is the best.

This story has me giving suspicious glances to my iPod. I’ve always suspected it’s up to no good.

Slublog on May 11, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Hi honey, happy birthday, I increased your life insurance and I am giving you an iPod.

right2bright on May 11, 2007 at 10:17 AM

Creepy. And the thumbnail works, rotated 90 degrees, too.

Tanya on May 11, 2007 at 10:19 AM

i didn’t know that people with pacemakers were such a huge demographic group for iPods

mfnorman on May 11, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Jobs is just doing his part to combat global warming.

sunny on May 11, 2007 at 10:33 AM

These kind of stories always ignore the simple fact that there is a functioning human being involved.

Grampa turns on the iPod, Grampa feels poorly.

Grampa turns off the iPod, feels better.

Grampa says, “I don’t like that iPod!”

And stops using it.

.

The Machine on May 11, 2007 at 10:44 AM

This just opens the market for more accessories: an iPod case that attaches to your cane, chair, leg, etc.

Doug on May 11, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Add iPod to the list of gifts Dems would like to give Cheney next xmas.

CliffHanger on May 11, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Time to short Apple.

steveegg on May 11, 2007 at 10:52 AM

It’s a stealth cure for the Social Security solvency issue.

harrison on May 11, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Check this out. Two summers ago one afternoon, I was walking my dog on a trail in an open field listening to music on my iPod as storm clouds gathered above.

I saw lightning in the distance as the storms approached. Suddenly, a bright flash and loud crash very near to me sent my heart racing uncontrollably to the extent that I almost passed out as I fell to my knees. After a few moments I recovered, got up, turned off and pocketed my iPod, and headed for home – slowly, because my heart was still pounding.

Another iPod/weather-related incident happened recently here in Colorado. A guy was mowing his lawn and listening to his iPod when a lightning strike sent him to the hospital.

Anyway, I can’t be sure if iPods attract lightning but I no longer bring my iPod with me on walks. I’d rather just hear nature’s music and be thankful for every opportunity I can get some fresh air.

CliffHanger on May 11, 2007 at 11:05 AM

So. Young people are trying to kill us. I knew it!!!

honora on May 11, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Uno! Dos! Tres! Aaaaagggkkkkk!

Mazztek on May 11, 2007 at 12:02 PM

Give up my iPod or my pacemaker? I’d have to think about that one for a while. I mean, I need my iPod.

saint kansas on May 11, 2007 at 12:03 PM

Funny, you’d think they’d've shielded these things by now. The Pacemaker people are anti tech; first cell phones now this. What’s next; I can’t play with my microwave gun around the old peoplez?

- The Cat

P.S. I didn’t build a microwave gun. No need to send Homeland over to my house.

MirCat on May 11, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Give up my iPod or my pacemaker? I’d have to think about that one for a while. I mean, I need my iPod.

saint kansas on May 11, 2007 at 12:03 PM

Just hold it really close and turn up the base.

- The Cat

MirCat on May 11, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Slublog on May 11, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Slublog on May 11, 2007 at 10:16 AM

That was awesome!

So. Young people are trying to kill us. I knew it!!!

honora on May 11, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Darn it woman, it’s killing me not to comment….

tickleddragon on May 11, 2007 at 5:58 PM