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As Apple has proven in its TV ads, you can use a number of words to describe its products. But I imagine it never thought that one of those words would be “dangerous.” According to new research, though, that’s exactly what the iPad is for certain heart patients.

A 14 year-old has discovered that the tiny magnets inside Apple’s tablet, used for Smart Covers, can inadvertently shut off a heart patient’s implanted defibrillator–a battery-powered electrical impulse generator— if near their chest for an extended period of time…

Bloomberg reports:

“Chien is 14, and her study — which found that Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad2 can, in some cases, interfere with life-saving heart devices because of the magnets inside — is based on a science-fair project that didn’t even win her first place.”

The research offers an invaluable warning for people with implanted defibrillators, which are intended to deliver an electric shock to a patient to restart a stopped heart. As a safety precaution, though, these impulse generators are designed to be deactivated by magnets.

“Defibrillators, as a safety precaution, are designed to be turned off by magnets. The iPad2 uses 30 magnets to hold the iPad2’s cover in place, Chien said. While the iPad2 magnets aren’t powerful enough to cause problems when a person is holding the tablet out in front of the chest, it can be risky to rest it against the body, she found.”

Chien’s study found that 30% of patients with defibrillators were affected by putting an iPad on their chest. And while most units will automatically turn back on once the magnet is removed, some must be reactivated manually, which could cause serious problems.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the study, referring questions about the iPad 2’s safety to its product safety guide. But the only caution the guide mentions is that pacemaker patients hold the tablet 6-inches away from their chest to avoid radio frequency interference.

  • O_o! Oh gawd

  • Huge round of applause for the little girl.

    She has done a great deed (which no one in her age group can do)

    • Gorgonphone

      i think some adult told her about it..

      • Eric M

         Apple told her about it. It’s in the iPad user guide.

    • Big deal. Her father is a cardiac electrophysiologist and knows quite well that pacemakers and implantable defibrillators are DESIGNED to respond to magnets. She’s been hearing stories of pacemakers and magnets at the breakfast table since she was 3. This is a blatant attempt by the father to make his little girl look good amid his cardiologist peers.

    • Hunter

      ….. A inbred child could figure this out

  • House4life

    Now samsung will pick on apple by doing a commercial on this dangerous issue

  • 6 inches away?? WTF

  • Makes you wonder what won first place? A volcano?

    • bigzjoseph

      Yeah a damn baking soda volcano

  • Gorgonphone

    ummm any dams magnet will mess with you robocop heart…lol

  • I think she deserve a 1st place !!! Every year for science project there is volcano And they get 1st , Wtf is wrong with those people !!!!

  • I fail to see how this is a discovery. Any device with a magnet can cause this, also we already knew that this can happen. It is written in the user guide of any device with magnets in

  • Arsanny Lintang

    Asians these days, no matter you go… Chinese people will be better and smarter than you :/

  • Omg what a croc of shit. Seriously. I worked 4 years in a CICU; you don’t carry your iPad up by your shoulder. The AICD is 2-4 inches off the left shoulder 90% of the time. Who holds their iPad up there? Secondly, the magnet used for such techniques is the size of a hockey ouch and could pull you refrigerator door open, that’s how serious and strong they are.

  • Guys!!! You forgot to mention that in the all apple products guides already explains that!!!

  • chjode

    You mean “14-year-old reads iPad manual which already states that iPads can be dangerous to heart patients.”

  • Feature request next IPAD for better way to support people with defibrillators and other implants of this nature! This is something Apple should fix immediately.

  • Halo, ambulance? I am getting an heart attack because of my iPad….(-;
    This issue appers on ipad 3 and 4th too?
    Is it realy have 30 magnets?!?!? Seems to be a bit too much and not makeing sense.