Feeds

MP3 player cans pose pacemaker risk

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Headphones from personal music players can interfere with pacemakers or implanted defibrillators, a medical trial has concluded.

The American Heart Association (AHA) found that magnets used inside some headphones designs, including clip-on models and earphones, can potentially interrupt a pacemaker’s beat or deactivate a defibrillator, even if the cans aren’t being used.

The ASA tested eight different headphone designs, each connected to iPods, on 60 defibrillator and pacemaker patients. Researchers found a “detectable interference” in 14 patients, while 15 per cent of the pacemaker patients and 30 per cent of the defibrillator patients experience a response to the cans

The field strength of each pair varied considerably and although some cans had field strengths of around 200 Gauss, some only measured strengths of around 10 Gauss.

“Exposure to the headphones can force [pacemakers] to deliver signals to the heart, causing it to beat without regard to the patient's underlying heart rhythm,” concluded William Maisel, senior author of the study and a director of the Medical Device Safety Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

He added that defibrillators can be temporarily deactivated by headphones, but stressed that removing the cans does – in most cases – restore the medical hardware to its normal function.

It’s worth noting that the trial placed the headphones onto patients’ chests, directly above their medical tech. Although this isn’t really representative of where you’d normally keep your cans, we’re sure you’ve fallen asleep with headphones on your chest before.

The research concluded that the best way to keep yourself safe – if you use a pacemaker or defibrillator, that is – is to make sure your headphones are at least 3cm away from the device at all times.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.