1

Score

Avatar
Erich Koch
100

Asked

Effects of the iPad2 magnets to Pacemakers

Discussion Topic

History

Is it possible that the magnets on the Smart Cover for the iPad2 could affect a heart pacemaker?

My assesment is that when the cover is installed on the iPad2 the magnetic fields on the iPad and the Smart Cover basically neutralize themselves while doing the work. BUT what could happen if the cover gets close to the heart pacemaker, usually installed under the skin on the upper left shoulder. I suppose it all depends on the type of electromagnetic shielding built-in on the heart pacemaker.

Edited by: Erich Koch ( )

Does anyone have information on whether magnetic fields impact pacemakers?

Kyle Wiens,

Post Answer

2

Score

Avatar
pollytintop
2.8k

Answered

PermalinkHistory

strong magnetic fields need to be avoided such as MRI scanners etc, this is probably more to do with the possibility of dislodging pacing wires/distortion of images etc but as to small magnets as on these cases? I wouldn't say with certainty.. modern pacemakers do run off microprocessors according to the manufacturer but without seeing exactly what's in the tin (so to speak) it's an unknown. I would imagine that no one has really done any study into what strength magnet would interfere (through layers of skin/fat and muscle) with a pacemaker... it's an interesting topic but I don't think you'll get any conclusions unless we have a cardiothoracic surgeon in our midst??

Yes, studies have been done by physicists that show how much of a magnetic field is required to interrupt a pacer. Now, the MRI is a different beast altogether. It will not just interrupt the pacemaker but it will get really really really hot ;-) The magnetic field during a MRI is enormous. It is capable of propelling oxygen tanks through walls etc....I am not sure if the iPad magnet could do that without an App :-) I will see if I can get something more concrete on this and will post it here. You may start with this, very interesting material http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/conten... Now we are getting into my area....Luv it :-)

oldturkey03,

i knew it! wise man..

pollytintop,

1

Score

Avatar
oldturkey03
2.8k

Answered

PermalinkHistory

Kyle, they most certainly do :-) that is how I turn them off when people get shocked or have a malfunction...trust me on that one. If you like I can send you one of those magnets ;-) anyhow I will get with the rep tonight and see if I get you something more than just anecdotal. The question here should be how much of a magnetic field do we have to have to interrupt any medical device. I am really thinking about getting a magnet and doing a couple of tests with it. I also will speak with the Biomed guys and our physicist It requires a magnet with the field strength of 10 gauss or greater next to the surface of the device. The magnet in a speaker has a strength of 100 gauss at the surface - but 0 gauss 6 inches away. Yes, I do have pacemakers handy :-). So if anyone has a couple of those magnets let me know and may be we can do a couple of tests Lets be scientific about this.

Edited by: oldturkey03 ( )

0

Score

Avatar
Erich Koch
100

Answered

PermalinkHistory

Oldturkey03, Very interesting discussion. I believe the pacemaker has a stainless steel case and becomes a very good shield. I think that the magnets on the SmartCase are very powerfull, possibly neodymiun type. However, my brother who has a PaceMaker, and asking me the question, at one time played with some fairly powerfull ceramic magnets that I have and had no problem handling them. If I recall the magnetic strength diminishes by the square of the distance to the magnet, so unless the magnet is place right next to the PaceMaker it should be no problem, but I thought I would ask. Also, when the SmartCase and the iPad2 are "attached" the extra magnetic field around the magnets should diminish considerably while doing their work. Thanks for the information so far. Now I'll take a look at the URL you posted, looks very interesting.

Edited by: Erich Koch ( )

Erich, just like anything else in this world, one has to use common sense. I believe that your brothers PaceMaker will be okay and will not malfunction, but just like anything else, keep it away from the device. A safe distance in this case I am sure, is within a few inches. Please do not use any family member for a science experiment. The pacemakers I have access to Are NOT IMPLANTED ;-)

oldturkey03,

Oldturkey03, after I made my comment I thought of calling (duhh..) my cardiologist who happens to be Dr Koch, and not related to my family. He is also an electrical engineer by the way. Told me not to be concerned about the magnets on the iPad and SmartCover.

Erich Koch,

;-) yup, remember it's the distance and the strength of the actual magnet per distance. I still think we should really find out what the field distance would be...good luck to you and your family.

oldturkey03,

0

Score

Avatar
David Johnson
100

Answered

PermalinkHistory

My 13 year old daughter has an epicardial pacemaker (just below her ribs), and we just got an iPad 2 and Smart Cover. I spoke to Apple yesterday about this, and they said they would got back to me. They just did and said:

"Apple does not publish information regarding the strength of the magnets in the Smart Cover or the iPad. Since there are multiple different PaceMaker designs (all with different specs), this customer should consult with their physician to determine if it is appropriate for them to be using this product."

Well duh, I already did, and with the manufacturer- they both want to know how strong the magnets are, which is why I contacted Apple in the first place. Disappointing, I was really hoping to use this information to build iPad knockoffs in my garage and make inroads into their 90% market hare or whatever it is.

Anyone done magnet strength measurements in any of the teardowns?

I still wish I could get my hand (hint Kyle) on one of those magnets. I tried to get the Gauss number through research but have not gotten anywhere. Of course Apple had not been any help either. I recently tried to turn of a pacemaker with a fridge magnet as well as a door magnet, but was unable to do so.

oldturkey03,

send kyle an email....

pollytintop,

0

Score

Avatar
Euge
100

Answered

PermalinkHistory

I'm monitoring this thread because I just bought an iPad 2 for my parents. My father has a pacemaker. I didn't get the Smart Cover just to be on the safe side, but if I find any concrete evidence that there is little to no risk I would get one for them.

Euge, I do not think that anyone will ever come out and say it is safe. There is always the fear of litigation, especially with the medical device aqct and the FDA etc. Some attorney's would surely make that a case. I think it is always prudent to use common sense and not to chance anything.

oldturkey03,

Add Your Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 0

This Week: 2

This Month: 8

All Time: 3,866