180px-ICDAn Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)

After noticing in that among the persons joining her in a tutorial session for their new iPad 2s, Gianna Chien, the daughter of a doctor, wondered if the device held any risks for persons with heart-related devices.

Chien conducted a study using 26 volunteers who had implanted defibrillators.  She found that in 30% of the participants, the iPad2 accidentally triggered “magnet mode,” during which the tablet’s 30 magnets in the cover turned off the heart device, effectively turning off the implant’s ability to deliver an electric shock if the volunteers’ hearts stopped.

When held away from the body, the tablet’s magnets caused no problems, though Chien warns heart patients against resting it on the chest or falling asleep with it.

She found no problems with pacemakers or loop-recorders.

Chien conducted her study in 2011 when she was fourteen years old.  Currently, the student plans to look at the risks of other electronic products and submit her findings to the San Joaquin County Science Fair.

Source:   Smart Planet Daily, May 13, 2013        


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