During a press conference, Dr. Joshua C. Greenberg said that your front pocket is a convenient place to carry your phones. He mentioned, “What our findings reinforce is the importance of how this new technology can affect devices.” He also added how putting the iPhone in your pocket with a defibrillator might stop it from delivering therapies.
How iphone12’s Magsafe Might Affect Cardiac Devices?
Every year in the United States, more than 300,000 people undergo surgery to implant pacemakers or defibrillators(devices that use electricity to keep that heart beating or shock it back to a normal rhythm).
It is difficult to perform surgery every time we want to control these devices, therefore strong magnets are used over the chest to control their functions.
After the introduction of the iPhone 12, the doctors started wondering if the magnets would affect these devices.
The devices feature switches that are used to turn them off or deliver impulses. These switches respond to an external magnet, therefore doctors say that the magnets present in the iPhone12’s MagSafe might trigger the cardiac implant devices.
Recently, cardiologists have discovered that when an iPhone12 was brought close to the chest of a patient with a Medtronic-brand implantable defibrillator, it suspended its functions. When the phone was taken away from the patient’s chest, the defibrillator went back to its normal functioning state.
When Singh, Greenberg, and their colleague DR. Mahmoud R. Altawil came to know about this threatening situation, they immediately wrote a letter to the editor published in HeartRhythm.
The letter reported an important health issue that concerns the newer generation iPhone12. They reported that carrying iPhone12 in the upper chest pocket can inhibit the proper functioning of the pacemakers and implantable defibrillators.
Right after the letter was released, Apple published a reply stating that the electromagnetic fields in iPhones and MagSafe accessories might interfere with medical devices.
The statement reads that all the iPhone12 models contain more magnets than the previous iPhone models, but they are not found to possess a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.
In order to avoid any potential interactions with these devices, it is safe to keep any iPhone12 series smartphone at a safe distance of at least 6 inches/15 cm apart from the heart(your device) or 12 inches/ 30 cm apart if the device is charging wirelessly. The stronger array of magnets, components, and radios include a magnetometer and a single-coil NFC reader at the center of the device. These may interfere if it comes in contact with any heart implant devices.
These devices might not be safe for a healthy heart for patients with heart implant devices. It is advisable to stop using your iPhone or MagSafe accessories if you suspect they are interfering with your medical devices.