Apple customers with heart conditions could find out that taking their iPads to bed with them may have consequences. The matter is that tiny magnets within the iPad cover can shut off implanted defibrillators on a pacemaker if you leave the device on your chest. The same may happen if you fall asleep with the iPad lying on you.
Of course, it doesn’t seem likely as a death scenario, but it is quite surprising that the geniuses at Apple didn’t think about people with heart conditions. Actually, even a 14-year-old girl could spot this, and she did. Gianna Chien made the discovery as part of her science fair project. However, her project didn’t get first place, maybe because the judges thought that Apple was perfect and iPads can’t harm anyone. But Chien will soon again be presenting her findings to 8,000 doctors at a meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society in Denver. Hopefully, she will find a more reasonable audience there.
The girl says that if you fall asleep with the iPad2 on your chest, the magnets in the cover can “accidentally turn off” the heart device. Since her dad is a doctor, she believes that it’s pretty important that people know this. Her study found that 30% of patients with defibrillators who put Apple devices on their chest were affected by iPads. Although most defibrillators can turn back on after the magnet is removed, some of them must be reactivated manually, which may causes a life-threatening situation.
According to John Day, head of heart-rhythm services at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, and chairman of the panel responsible for reviewing scientific papers which will be presented at the Denver meeting, Gianna Chien’s research offers a valuable warning for patients with implanted defibrillators that deliver an electric shock to restart a stopped heart.