from the struck-by-lightning-twice dept
There have been numerous studies done over the impact various portable electronics devices have on pacemakers, and they often make headlines blown way out of proportion compared to the actual issue. A year and a half ago, for example, we wrote about a report that found that iPods could interfere with pacemakers under some very specific (and somewhat unlikely) circumstances. And now there's a new study making the rounds about how iPod headphones could, maybe interfere with pacemakers, again in some very specific circumstances. As the folks behind the report note, it's so minor that it's not worth causing a big stir about it, but when the headphones are very close to the device, the magnets in them may impact how the device runs. It was a pretty small sample size, but in experiments it happened in 4 out of 27 tests with pacemakers. Slightly more troubling is in cases with defibrillators, where the headphones got in the way 10 out of 33 times. Though, with the pacemakers, it didn't sound as if the interference was all that serious in most cases, and with defibrillators, it seems likely that technicians are likely to notice and remove iPod headphones from getting in the way. While it's good to be aware of the potential for interference, but the actual risk of danger seems pretty minor.