FDA: iPods unlikely to interfere with pacemakers


Contrary to a study presented last May, a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration study shows that iPods, and other portable media players, are unlikely to cause cardiac implantable pacemakers to malfunction. FDA researcher Howard Bassen and colleagues tested a variety of iPods, and found they did not produce enough of an electromagnetic field to interfere with installed pacemakers. The researchers used a saline-filled bag to simulate the human body, a coil sensor to pick up electromagnetic emissions, and tested four different iPod models: both a fourth- and fifth-generation iPod, an iPod nano, and an iPod shuffle. “We measured magnetic field emissions with a 3-coil sensor placed within 1 cm (half an inch) of the surface of the player. Highly localized fields were observed (only existing in a one square cm area),” the researchers wrote in a report published in the journal BioMedical Engineering OnLine. “Based on the observations of our in-vitro study we conclude that no interference effects can occur in pacemakers exposed to the iPods we tested.”

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Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.