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Medical report warns: Apple iPhone 12 series phone and a MagSafe accessory can shut down a pacemaker


A support article published by Apple over the weekend noted that while all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they’re not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models. But in the very next paragraph, the tech giant stated that “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.”

Apple iPhone 12 series and MagSafe accessories can shut down a pacemaker

It is alarming that the Heart Rhythm Journal published a study about a Medtronic pacemaker that shut down when an iPhone 12 series phone was held near it. This study could lead medical companies to perform more tests to see whether there is a problem with certain medical gear when the iPhone 12 or MagSafe accessories get too close. There is a solution as reported by Medical Xpress. The latter states that manufacturers like Medtronics could reduce the use of magnetics or use some sort of method that would prevent interference from ambient sources to impact life sustaining medical devices like a pacemaker.

Medical Xpress says, “Unless companies like Medtronic get on board and move to smarter device configuration options, they will continue to butt heads with consumer devices—and they will continue to lose. Smarter options don’t have to be expensive; just look at your cheap IR TV remote or ultrasonic receiver-emitter pair. These devices simply work. They use an uncomplicated code to make sure there is no interference from all the other ambient sources that are invariably present. A couple of secure ultrasonic bits superimposed on your basic 40 khz carrier waves is all that is really needed. It is likely that companies like Medtronic are working on solutions like this; for example, a Medtronic programming head of some sort can be had on Ebay at the moment for a mere $34.99.

The bottom line is that iPhone 12 users and MagSafe accessories need to be kept away from pacemakers and defibrillators. Actually, any device that uses a strong magnet needs to be kept away from vital medical equipment. To reiterate, keep your iPhone 12 more than 6-inches away from your pacemaker and MagSafe accessories at least 12 inches away. If you’re concerned, Apple says to “Consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and iPhone or any MagSafe accessories. Manufacturers often provide recommendations on the safe use of their devices around wireless or magnetic products to prevent possible interference.”

The last sentence written by Apple for its support document might be the most important. “If you suspect iPhone or any MagSafe accessories are interfering with your medical device, stop using your iPhone or MagSafe accessories.”
For those unaware, Apple’s new MagSafe accessories work with the strong magnets in the iPhone 12 series to firmly connect to the phone’s rear panel. Some of the MagSafe accessories include a leather wallet, a charger and a leather case.

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