IPhone 12, MagSafe Accessories May Interfere With Pacemakers, Medical Implants, Cautions Apple

Yolanda Curtis
January 27, 2021

IPhones could interfere with medical devices such as pacemakers, according to Apple.

Heart diseases are very common in India and so is the use of implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.

The company added that the iPhone and any Magsafe accessories should stay at least six inches (about 15 centimeters) from the medical devices or twice the distance if the devices are wirelessly charging.

Apple introduced (or re-introduced) a new charging system on the iPhone 12 series called MagSafe, which relies on a ring of magnets placed beneath the rear panel for magnetically attaching to wireless chargers and juicing up the battery. The California-based company in November agreed to pay $113 million to settle a case with multiple USA regulators while customers are seeking approval from a US court for a class-action settlement that could be worth as much as $500 million.

According to the study, the magnetic charging coils and RF-emitting components in these products are strong enough to interfere with an ICD's internal mechanisms, which respond to magnetic fields. Part of this is due to Apple's focus on higher-end devices and the other is due to import costs since Apple does not manufacture most of its devices in the country.

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.

Independent research findings published earlier this month in the Heart Rhythm Journal (via) indicated that iPhone 12 models can "potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient" due to magnetic interference with implantable medical devices.

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 last fall, the company also announced the return of MagSafe - formerly a beloved MacBook feature - for the iPhone. However, this is important information to consider when choosing a new phone or when using it, especially for those who rely on medical devices to remain healthy. Which is why no one was surprised when Bloomberg reported it might be coming to the next iteration of the MacBook Pro. If you suspect iPhone or any MagSafe accessories are interfering with your medical device, stop using your iPhone or MagSafe accessories.

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