iPods & Pacemakers: Music Device Could Interfere With Medical Device

iPods are a popular little item for listening to music, but now there is research suggesting those devices could interfere with how a pacemaker works.

A very sharp teenager from Michigan conducted research to see if there were any potential problems and now that teen's work has caught the eye of cardiologists from around the country.

Seventeen-year-old Jay Thaker said he wanted to know if an iPod could have an effect on a pacemaker's performance. He found that using the iPod close to a pacemaker caused abnormally high heart rate readings. Thaker said his research even showed one instance where the iPod kept a pacemaker from working correctly.

Because of his discovery, Thaker attended a heart rhythm conference in Denver, Colo. Thaker worked with researchers from Michigan State University and found the iPods with photo and video capabilities created even more interference with pacemakers compared to iPods that only play music.

"I have an iPod Nano actually," Thaker said at the conference. "We held it here and turned it on (and) turned it off a couple of times with four different iPods. You know usually it's (your heart rate) below 100 beats per minute but some recorded 170-190 beats per minute range."

"Basically as we brought the iPod close to the pacemaker and turned it on the pacemaker stopped pacing the heart for three beats and then resumed pacing again," Thaker said about his findings.


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