Modern medical science is pretty awesome, until it’s deadly. Having done some research for a science project, 14-year-old Gianna Chin has revealed that Smart Covers and iPads should be kept away from Pacemaker users’ chests. It seems the magnets inside the devices are strong enough to switch off the embedded Pacemakers.
If a person falls asleep with the iPad2 on the chest, the magnets in the cover can “accidentally turn off” the heart device, said Chien, a high school freshman in Stockton, California, whose father is a doctor. “I definitely think people should be aware. That’s why I’m presenting the study.”
Normally, Pacemakers will switch off when a magnet is detected, as a safety precaution. Thankfully, they should normally come back on again. But there is a handful of Pacemakers which won’t switch back on until the magnet is reapplied. If someone wearing one of these defibrillators happened to accidentally switch it off, they wouldn’t necessarily know about it until it was too late. It’s important to note, simply using an iPad isn’t enough to risk any ill-harm. But, resting the tablet on the chest caused 30% of the study subjects’ Pacemakers to show signs of interference.
The message: you can use an iPad, just don’t fall asleep with it resting on your chest.