Apple reveals potential effect of iPhone 12 MagSafe for users with medically implanted devices

Since the launch of Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup, the company has acknowledged how iPhone 12 MagSafe may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators. But now, following an article in the Heart Rhythm Journal from three doctors in Michigan who discovered how the devices can be detrimental to patients with implanted devices,  the company has now shared additional information.

Apple has just updated a support document warning users that iPhone 12 MagSafe could potentially interfere with pacemakers, defibrillators, and other medical implants that could be affected by magnets.

iPhone 12 MagSafe

iPhone 12 MagSafe users with medically implanted devices should be careful

The iPhone 12 lineup comes with magnetic components that can emit electromagnetic fields, according to Apple. Apple MagSafe accessories also contain magnets – the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger contain radios.

In an update to a support page about the magnets used for MagSafe, Apple added a paragraph that warns medical devices including implanted pacemakers and defibrillators “might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact.” Though the company does not explain what could happen in cases of interference, the deactivation of a medical device can be damaging to a patient’s health.

iPhone 12 MagSafe

The text goes on to advise users to consult with a physician and the device manufacturer for “specific guidelines” in relation to MagSafe.

“Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact. To avoid any potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from your device (more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging). But consult with your physician and your device manufacturer for specific guidelines.”

MagSafe accessories

The update follows after an article in the Heart Rhythm Journal from three doctors in Michigan who tested iPhone 12 MagSafe’s impact on a patient’s implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. The implant immediately stopped functioning normally, when the iPhone was brought near the patient’s chest.

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