Magnets and life-saving medical devices are incompatible. And Apple wants to be clear about that by updating its support document to warn its users against keeping their iPhone 12 and Magsafe accessories too close to their pacemakers.
On January 4, 2021, the Hearth Rhythm Journal published a study about how iPhone 12 could affect life-saving medical devices.
One of the authors said that the strong magnetic array in the iPhone 12 and MagSafe compatible accessories could interact with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).
The Study Concluded
“Once the iPhone was brought close to the ICD over the left chest area, immediate suspension of ICD therapies was noted which persisted for the duration of the test.”
The authors want to bring a public health issue that relates to the new iPhone 12 that may inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient while carrying an iPhone in his/her upper pockets.
Apple Responded to the Claim About iPhone 12 Magsafe Magnets
After the study was published, Apple responded to the claims. It updated its support document with a new recommendation for iPhone 12 users with a life-saving medical device.
It emphasizes that iPhone 12 models have more magnets than earlier iPhone models. However, Apple said:
“They’re not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.”
Because iPhone 12 has the potential to interfere with your medical device, you must keep it at a safe distance. Apple recommends over 6 inches apart.
If you’re wirelessly charging, make sure to keep a safe distance of over 12 inches apart.
If you have a pacemaker, for instance, you must talk to your doctor about whether or not you need to maintain a safe distance between your medical device and your iPhone.
If you think that it’s interfering with your medical device, though, you must stop using your iPhone or MagSafe accessories.
However, it won’t be an issue if you don’t keep your iPhone in your shirt pockets.
It won’t also be an issue if you don’t have the habit of putting your phone on your chest when you are lying in bed or sitting on your couch.
But it’s not only iPhone 12 that can interfere with your pacemaker. Some smartphones can also pose a risk.
In that case, you need to avoid putting your smartphone near your cardiac device.
And if you’re talking to someone on the phone, make sure that you hold the phone to the ear farthest from your medical device.
You must always keep your smartphone 6 inches away from your pacemaker.
There’s no need for you to stop using your iPhone 12 and other smartphones. Experts recommend being mindful of what’s in your body. There’s always the risk for interference.
Your best defense is to modify your lifestyle so you can use the technology available without having to worry about it interfering with your cardiac device.
Your physician can coach you on small steps on how to reduce your risk while still using the devices that your lifestyle requires.