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The iPhone 12 Could Interfere With Pacemakers, Heart Foundation Warns

Two major cardiac organisations have warned Apple iPhone 12 users the MagSafe magnet could interfere with pacemakers and implanted defibrillators.

Apple uses magnets inside the new iPhone which allows it to attach and charge via external accessories.

However, the Heart Foundation and the Australian and New Zealand Cardiac Device Advisory and Complication Committee (ANZCDACC) have both warned iPhone 12 users to watch how close they carry the devices to their bodies.

Carrying the iPhone 12 in a top shirt pocket has been deemed particularly risky.

An experiment by the Heart Rhythm Society found the iPhone 12 magnet interfered directly with the performance of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

“Once the iPhone was brought close to the ICD over the left chest area, immediate suspension of ICD therapies was noted which persisted for the duration of the test,” the association wrote in a paper.

“This was reproduced multiple times with different positions of the phone over the pocket. 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.”

Apple has responded directly to the issue, instructing iPhone users to keep the device a ‘safe distance’ away from the medical devices.

“iPhone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. 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 said in a blogpost.

“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.”

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