Just call him Doogie Howser.
Jay Thaker, 17, a student at Okemos High School in Okemos, Mich., presented his findings at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting in Denver on Thursday. The 100-patient study conducted at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State University examined the effects of the popular digital music players on the sensitive heart monitoring equipment.
Electrical interference was detected half of the time when an iPod was held just 2 inches from the patient’s chest for 5 to 10 seconds. In certain circumstances, the devices could cause problems with heart devices from 18 inches away. A pacemaker for one of the 100 patients involved study stopped functioning all together.
More than 1 million pacemakers are implanted in people worldwide each year. Apple has sold over 100 million iPods since it launched the product in 2001.
Thaker says he now wants to do a similar study involving iPods and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.