Recently, research from the Heart Rhythm Journal revealed that the array of magnets within the iPhone 12 series have a possibly dangerous effect on certain medical devices, such as Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers. At the time, Apple already had a support page dedicated to the issue, warning that the iPhone 12 series has more magnets than previous iPhone models—which is down to MagSafe, Apple’s new charging mechanism.
In response, the Cupertino-based company has added a couple of significant statements to the support page, including a warning for iPhone 12 owners with implanted pacemakers, ICDs, or other similar devices. However, it’s worth noting that Apple maintains that the iPhone 12 is “not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models”, despite the presence of more magnets.
The updated support page contains the following warning:
“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.”
There is also a warning specific to MagSafe accessories:
“All MagSafe accessories (each sold separately) also contain magnets—and MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger contain radios. These magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices.”
Previously, Apple has already said that users ought to consult their physicians and medical device manufacturers for specific information, and whether a “safe distance” between medical devices and iPhones/MagSafe accessories is required. Now, the updated support page warns users to keep the iPhone and MagSafe accessories at a “safe distance” from medical devices—at least 15 cm apart, or 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging.
In any case, the issue here isn’t just relevant to the iPhone, or even the iPhone 12. Hearth Rhythm Journal’s findings revealed that IBDs or certain medical devices could be deactivated when an iPhone 12 was held near it. This also means that any magnetic of similar strength can affect the operation of medical devices like these, so it is important to contact your physician or device manufacturer if you notice any change in the medical device.
If you want to read the support page in full, click here.