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Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

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Apr 12, 2001
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Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information.


Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:
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.
While the support document already mentioned "MagSafe accessories" in the title, Apple has further emphasized that accessories like the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger may also interfere with medical devices:
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.
Apple continues to state that while all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they are "not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models."

Earlier this month, an article in the Heart Rhythm Journal indicated that iPhone 12 models can "potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient" due to magnetic interference with implantable medical devices. Three doctors in Michigan tested this interaction by holding an iPhone 12 near a patient's implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which immediately went into a "suspended" state for the duration of the test, according to the article.

"We hereby bring an important public health issue concerning the newer generation iPhone 12 which can potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient particularly while carrying the phone in upper pockets," the doctors wrote. "Medical device manufacturers and implanting physicians should remain vigilant in making patients aware of this significant interaction of the iPhone 12 and other smart wearables with their cardiac implantable electronic devices."

The article in the Heart Rhythm Journal was first surfaced by Brazilian website MacMagazine.

Apple provides more information in the "Important safety information for iPhone" section of the iPhone User Guide.

Article Link: Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices
 
Last edited:

monroerr

macrumors member
May 25, 2018
40
69
One has never been recommended to carry any device such as a smart phone or anything magnetic in your upper pockets with any chest implanted electronic device. That has always been the case. Just like you don't go through metal detectors or let TSA wand you.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
22,511
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In the middle of several books.
One has never been recommended to carry any device such as a smart phone or anything magnetic in your upper pockets with any chest implanted electronic device. That has always been the case. Just like you don't go through metal detectors or let TSA wand you.
You are correct. What was noted by the doctors is nothing new. It has been warned about for decades.

It is good that Apple went ahead and edited the document, which will hopefully lessen the likelihood of someone suing them over this.
 
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monroerr

macrumors member
May 25, 2018
40
69
You are correct. What was noted by the doctors is nothing new. It has been warned about for decades.

It is good that Apple went ahead and edited the document, which will hopefully lessen the likelihood of someone suing them over this.
It was reported a decade ago in cardiology journals that the early iPhones definitely could alter the function of implantable cardiac defibrillators. I do not even carry a MacBook close to my chest.
 
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Roller

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2003
2,640
1,618
Magnet Gate. LOL.

All this because Apple did not want to switch to USB-C for charging, because they would lose huge revenue from accessories.
Magnet Gate? Really? Does someone have to play this card every time there's a problem with an Apple product?

But how does this issue relate to not switching to USB-C, which is just another connector for wired charging?
 
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mikedop

macrumors 601
Dec 30, 2019
4,055
8,848
Los Angeles, CA
Well if you have one, you already know to avoid magnets. Yawn
That’s true. But at the same time, not everyone buying an iPhone 12 is really aware about MagSafe. I could imagine a lot of upgrades come from people just asking the Best Buy employee what the best phone is, then getting that.

In my honest opinion, there needs to be a warning about the magnets and risk of contact with medical devices on the box. Louis Rossmann made a pretty good video on just that, actually. If you have the time, I’d suggest watching it. It’s a great piece.
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2018
1,600
2,265
Magnet Gate. LOL.

All this because Apple did not want to switch to USB-C for charging, because they would lose huge revenue from accessories.
Seriously? You are aware that all magnets, phones, radios,..... also have this issue? And don’t try to get an MRI, it will pull the device out of your chest. But thanks, I was not aware the issue was usb-c, I consider myself having Ben educated now
 
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