Pacemakers and iPods, a Dangerous Combination?
We know that cell phones produce frequencies which can be dangerous for us, especially if we possess heart problems which are treated by the installment of pacemakers. However, not only cell phones contribute to this issue since there are many other things we use often, being capable of disrupting these devices. For example, even though everyone was skeptic when this possible issue was initially mentioned, iPods may be a dangerous combination to go with you and your pacemaker, however, strange this might sound. People often consider this music player benign and incapable of causing anyone harm. Unfortunately, researches on the topic proved things to be quite different and the situation significantly more serious.
The iPod Problem
The first thing scientists noticed about iPods, once they tested them, is that if iPods were held near the chest area of patients with pacemakers for several seconds, these 'benign' music players interfered with the proper working of the pacemaker. Namely, in 50% of cases, interference of some sort was triggered by the action.
What is more, in 29% of the cases, iPod seemed to make the pacemaker misread certain heartbeat information. Furthermore, in 20% of the cases, these health devices reported problems where there were not any. Finally, there was a single case during the tests, where an iPod caused the pacemaker to cease working completely.
However, the situation became even more dangerous, as it was revealed that iPods, even when held farther away from one's chest, were still capable of causing disruptions. This made all people who have pacemakers in danger even when being near people or places with iPods.
Even though older people tend to avoid advanced technical gadgets like iPods, there are still individuals who are younger but have pacemakers installed, and older folks with the same problem, who like to enjoy music wherever they go. This can present a problem and this research has helped us realize it.
An interesting thing about this whole issue is that a 17-year-old student was the first to have doubted the neutral effect of iPod music players and pacemakers. This young man triggered the whole groundbreaking research and has possibly saved many lives so far, not even being aware of it. Knowing this effect makes doctors capable of establishing better diagnosis, not mistaking interference with actual results. Also, it makes people with pacemakers aware that they should be more careful since many different things may cause them problems with the device which is keeping their heart alive.