Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

iPad 2 and other tablet computers may interfere with magnetically programmable shunt valve settings

Date:
June 26, 2012
Source:
American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
Summary:
Researchers find that magnets within the Apple iPad 2 tablet may interfere with the settings of magnetically programmable shunt devices, resulting in a shunt malfunction until the problem is discovered and the valve readjusted.

University of Michigan researchers have found that the Apple iPad 2 can interfere with settings of magnetically programmable shunt devices, which are often used to treat children with hydrocephalus. The iPad 2 contains magnets that can change valve settings in the shunt if the tablet computer is held too close to the valve (within 2 in.). Such a change may result in shunt malfunction until the problem is recognized and the valve adjusted to the proper setting. Patients and their caregivers should monitor use of the tablet computer to ensure that no change is made to the valve settings.

The results of this study can be found in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

The researchers first thought of performing this study because a tablet computer seemed to affect a programmable shunt in one of their patients, a four-month-old girl with hydrocephalus. Three weeks after the baby had received the shunt, she was examined for shunt malfunction due to a changed setting in the magnetically programmable valve that regulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. The baby's mother stated that she had held an iPad 2 while holding the infant. Programmable shunt valve settings can be altered by exposure to magnetic fields. Indeed, specialized magnets are used by physicians to adjust the settings on these valves. Since in this case no other environmental factor could be identified that would have led to a shift in the valve settings, the authors decided to test whether the iPad 2 might be implicated because, unlike the initial iPad, the iPad 2 contains several magnets and is often used with an Apple Smart Cover, which contains additional magnets.

The researchers tested 10 programmable shunt valves with a variety of settings. They exposed the valves to an iPad 2 with and without the Smart Cover at different distances: less than 1 centimeter (cm), 1-2.5 cm, 2.5-5 cm, 5-10 cm, and greater than 10 cm. Each exposure lasted 10 seconds. Overall, the valves were tested 100 times for each of the five distances during exposures to the iPad 2 with the Smart Cover closed and 30 times for distances less than 1 cm for the tablet computer without the cover.

After exposure of the programmable valves to the iPad 2 and Smart Cover at distances of 0-1 cm, the researchers found that the settings had changed in 58 percent of the valves. After exposure at distances of 1-2.5 cm the settings had changed in 5 percent of valves, and after exposure at distances of 2.5-5 cm the settings had changed in only 1 percent of valves. No changes in valve settings were identified after exposures at higher distances.

After exposure of programmable valves to the iPad 2 without a cover, which was only tested at distances of 0-1 cm, the researchers found that the settings had changed in 67 percent of the valves.

Although no change in setting was found past a distance of 5 cm (2 in.), the authors caution that patients and caregivers should be made aware of the potential for a change in the settings of a magnetically programmable shunt valve if an iPad 2 is placed very near. This is not to say that the iPad 2 cannot be safely used in the vicinity of patients with programmable shunts. A variety of magnets can be found in households today, and the authors state that the magnetic field strength of the iPad 2 lies within the range of these everyday magnets. Therefore, patients and caregivers should regard precautions surrounding the use of the iPad 2 to be the same as those taken with other household magnets. Cormac Maher, MD, a pediatric neurosurgeon and lead author of the report, said that he hopes to raise awareness of this potential interaction through publication of this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Strahle J, Selzer BJ, Muraszko KM, Garton HJL, Maher CO. Programmable shunt valve affected by exposure to a tablet computer. Laboratory investigation. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.3.PEDS1211

Cite This Page:

American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). "iPad 2 and other tablet computers may interfere with magnetically programmable shunt valve settings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626092544.htm>.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). (2012, June 26). iPad 2 and other tablet computers may interfere with magnetically programmable shunt valve settings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626092544.htm
American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). "iPad 2 and other tablet computers may interfere with magnetically programmable shunt valve settings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626092544.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

AFP (Apr. 19, 2014) The Nintendo Game Boy celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday and game expert Stephen Upstone says the console can be credited with creating a trend towards handheld gaming devices. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) The Internet is taking important steps in patching the vulnerabilities Heartbleed highlighted, but those preventive measures carry their own costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the company will use GPS data from the new Nearby Friends feature for advertising sometime in the future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins