Jun 20, 2007

iPod's and pacemakers

Medgadget reported some time ago:

Cell phones have been getting a lot of flak in ERs and hospitals, while iPods are seen as the pinnacle of design. Leave it to a 17-year old to bring the real troublemaker out into the open. Apparently iPods interfere with pacemakers, sometimes causing them to stop working completely. Here's more from Reuters:

The study tested the effect of the portable music devices on 100 patients, whose mean age was 77, outfitted with pacemakers. Electrical interference was detected half of the time when the iPod was held just 2 inches from the patient's chest for 5 to 10 seconds.

This is unpleasant news and something we're in the middle of dealing with at my company (shielding and hazard analysis). We are not making an implant, so the shielding task is quite a bit easier than the pacemaker maker's.

However, hazard analysis is never easy and the trend is to get more and more detailed. Where once we assumed a certain level of competence from the operator, now we assume less. Part of this is greater ability on the device's part to monitor and measure various systems as electronics and programming have advanced. We are more able to catch operator and equipment errors. But part of this is a safer society as a whole, we move towards airbags and bicycle helmets where before it was acceptable to do without.

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.