According to a recent study, smartphones might interfere with patients’ pacemakers; therefore, medical experts warn: do not wear smartphones close to your pacemakers. Although the medical devices have been significantly improved in the past years, mobile phones still have the ability to influence the heart device.
The findings of the new study were first introduced to the public during the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) Eurospace Cardiostim conference which was held on Monday. The leader of the research is Dr. Carsten Lennerz, who is currently working as a resident at the Clinic for Heart and Circulatory Diseases in Munich, Germany.
The resident carefully described the study that he and his colleagues have carried out at their center in Munich to determine whether smart technology helps or, on the contrary, hinders pacemakers and other similar devices.
In order to carry out his scientific endeavor, the researcher has asked 308 patients with heart devices to subject themselves to a series of tests. Out of the 308 respondents, 147 wore pacemakers, whereas 161 ICDs and 65 CRT. The results of the tests were the same, regardless of the type of gadgets that people wore.
The participants in the tests underwent repeated electrocardiograms (ECGs) as one smartphone was placed directly on their pacemakers. During the electrocardiogram, the regular process of phone call initiation was carried out.
Thus, the smartphone was programmed to dial a number, to wait for the other person on the telephone to answer and to carry out a conversation. The ECG results were then carefully analyzed to see whether the smartphone technology has in any way interfered with the activity of the pacemaker.
Only one patient has had problems during the phone conversation. His pacemaker interpreted the signals of the smartphone as an arrhythmia and delivered a shock to allegedly help the patient.
The finding of the study has determined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conclude that smartphones should be worn at a distance of 15-20 cm from the heart devices.
Otherwise, they could lead to syncope because the system interprets the signals of the mobile device and the pacemaker stop itself. If prolonged, the cardiac arrest may cause syncope and lead to additional health problems, researchers have concluded.
Similar tests were conducted in the past, which enabled the FDA to conclude that mobile devices might, indeed be noxious for heart patients.
Even though the new technological products might be more effective than the past mobile device, scientists warn patients to avoid direct contact between these systems and their phones.
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