iPad magnets may interfere with pacemakers - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

iPad magnets may interfere with pacemakers

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A 14-year-old is drawing serious attention to the iPad after discovering a new health concern.

Gianna Chien, a freshman, presented her findings in a science fair. She didn't win the fair, but 8,000 doctors have taken notice at the heart rhythm society meeting in Denver.

Gianna discovered that the tiny magnets in iPad 2 tablets may affect implanted heart devices if a person falls asleep with a tablet on their chest.

In her study, she found 30% of patients who placed the iPad on the chest had some interference with their pacemaker or implantable defibrillator which help maintain a normal heart rhythm.

Experts agree patients should be aware of these risks when they purchase an iPad.

While there is no risk in holding the device, Apple cautions that the iPad 2, which contains 30 magnets, should be kept at least 6 inches from the body and turned off in healthcare facilities.

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