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Report: Cardiac device wearers face risks from smartphones

Have a cardiac device installed? Don't keep your smartphone so close!

By Michael Hatamoto on Jun 24, 2015 at 05:40 am CDT - 0 mins, 53 secs reading time

People with cardiac devices installed should be vigilant about keeping a safe distance from smartphones, if they want to avoid temporary malfunctions or painful shocks, according to researchers.

Report: Cardiac device wearers face risks from smartphones | TweakTown.com

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and device manufacturers recommend a distance of at least 15 to 20 cm between pacemakers and smartphones. Of course, the study was conducted using mobile devices about 10 years ago, and there has been a mobile network change from GSM to LTE and UMTS - but there is still risk when dialing and connecting to a network, and not while talking on the phone.

People with pacemakers installed can still use a smartphone, but make sure it's not placed "directly over" the cardiac device, according to researchers.

"Pacemakers can mistakenly detect electromagnetic interference (EMI) from smartphones as a cardiac signal, causing them to briefly stop working," said Dr. Carsten Lennerz, cardiology resident at the Clinic for Heart and Circulatory Diseases at the German Heart Center. "This leads to a pause in the cardiac rhythm of the pacing dependent patient and may result in syncope [fainting]."

Michael Hatamoto

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Michael Hatamoto

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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