Apple has confirmed that one of the iPhone 12’s most famous features could also make it dangerous for those with pacemakers.
Apple issues warning on MagSafe Technology
Those who have a pacemaker most likely already know that magnets are no friend and Apple’s most recent iPhone is no exception. A support document update spotted by MacRumours warns customers to keep their iPhone 12’s and any MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from any pacemakers or defibrillators. The document defined this safe distance as being 15cm, or if wirelessly charging, 30cm away. Apple also urged pace-maker having customers to consult with both their doctors and the device manufacturers before making any purchasing decisions.
However, despite the new warning Apple has also released a statement assuring that iPhones are ‘not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.’ But while the risk may not be significant it’s still a risk that might not be worth taking.
Study confirms MagSafe threats to heart devices
A study recently published in the Heart Rythm Journal found that any magnets over 10 gauss are strong enough to cause Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) to enter a suspended state. Researchers then decided to take a closer look into MagSafe technology and found that when placed over an ICD, the magnet technology caused the device to become immediately suspended. However, the devices may return to normal functioning when the magnet is taken away. Research stated:
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.
However, if you aren’t willing to completely give up on your iPhone dreams the study suggests that prior iPhones without MagSafe technology are still safe to use. And none of this necessarily means that you can’t buy an iPhone 12 if you have a pacemaker or ICD, just keep the device out of your front pocket and at least 15cm away from your chest.