James McIntosh, MEDICAL NEWS TODAY
(Medical News Today) — The research is being presented at the joint meeting of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and Cardiostim, taking place in Milan, Italy.
“Pacemakers can mistakenly detect electromagnetic interference (EMI) from smartphones as a cardiac signal, causing them to briefly stop working,” reports study author Dr. Carsten Lennerz, of the German Heart Center in Munich, Germany. “This leads to a pause in the cardiac rhythm of the pacing dependent patient and may result in syncope.”
These cardiac devices are used widely. According to a previous study, around 2.9 million patients received permanent pacemakers in the US between 1993 and 2009. Pacemakers are not the only cardiac device found to be affected by smartphones, however.