Rumor: 14-year-old discovers iPad 2 heart risk

A science project conducted by 14-year-old Gianna Chien found that Apple's iPad 2 can disrupt defibrillators, allowing for a potential heart risk.


Science project finds iPad 2 heart risk

If the results of a 14-year-old's science project are to be believed — and really, when have those ever been wrong? — then the iPad 2 could potentially be dangerous to those with heart devices. The study has sparked reports from MSN Healthy LivingCBS News, Business Week and others.

OK, so she's more than just a 14-year-old with a science project. She's also the daughter of a doctor who got a leading manufacturer of heart devices to admit that Apple's signature product doesn't play nice with their implants.

Her name is Gianna Chien, she's a high school freshman in Stockton, Calif., and the kicker is that the project that's now getting her so much attention didn't even win first place.

It all began with an idea. Chien knew that the iPad, like a lot of devices, was filled with magnets, 30 to be precise, all of which help hold its case in place. Her father, a cardiac electrophysiologist, helped her round up 26 volunteers with defibrillators. And what she discovered was that in 30 percent of cases, resting the iPad on the patient's chest caused their defibrillators to go into what's called "magnet mode," which turns off the devices.

Apple PR didn't respond to Chien's request for comment. (And they haven't responded to MSN News' yet, either.) But Medtronic, the leading manufacturer of defibrillators, did. And while it said that it hadn't found any problems with the iPad when used to its specifications, it does warn against patients holding any device that uses magnets against their chest.

Chien presented her results at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Denver, according to Australian paper The Age. She told the paper that despite the success of her study she does not want to become a doctor like her dad; she'd rather become a novelist, she said.

More on Chien's findings



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