Smart but Unsafe

We live in a world of changing dynamics. It’s easy for us to chalk up our differences to different mindsets, and that’s true, but our mindset is just a by-product of how our environment impacts us. This environment is in the state of constant evolution, and so are we. Over the years, we have gone through several stages as a part of our progression, and one such stage, which would end up defining our identity, was of technology. Once we got to technology, things didn’t just change. They started to get whole new dimensions. These dimensions would take us to a place where technology’s presence would be highly apparent in every single aspect of our lives. No matter how big or small the medium might look, our lives, at their crux, would be governed by technology. It’s important to understand that this wasn’t just done for the sake of it. Technology essentially became our primary tool to get to our vision of a more efficient world. Examples of its efficiency are all around us. If we are talking about the more important ones, though, then we have to include what is happening in the medical world. The inflow of tech-centric methodologies has transformed our healthcare system into something much more sustainable. However, a recent study has cast a dark shadow on these otherwise high-utility tech devices that we have come to find useful beyond any known limit.

A group of investigators at Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) have put together a report that presents concerning evidence of smart phones and watches causing severe trouble when brought into close proximity of implanted medical devices. The study results that were published in Heart Rhythm journal reveals a truth that falls in with what FDA has been suggesting for a while. The administration has insistently outlined the need of keeping your smart phones, smart watches, and basically everything that can create potential magnetic interference, at least six inches away from any implanted devices.

“As part of this work, the agency reviewed recently published articles describing the possibility that certain newer cell phones, smart watches, and other consumer electronics with high field strength magnets may temporarily affect the normal operation of implanted electronic medical devices, such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators” explained the lead investigator, Seth J. Seldman.

The argument behind it is that cardiac implanted devices often carry a magnetic mode, which is there to facilitate treatment under likely electromagnetic interference. However, if the device encounters a magnetic field greater than 10G under non-supervised environments, then it can very well alter the way that implanted device works, possibly leading to serious health complications.


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