Earlier this month, a study from the Heart Rhythm Journal indicated that the iPhone 12’s new MagSafe technology can deactivate pacemakers in certain situations. Apple has responded to these claims by updating a support document on its website with new advice for iPhone 12 users with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.
It continues to emphasize, however, that the iPhone 12 does not “pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.”
As first spotted by MacRumors, the support document as first published back when the iPhone 12 launched, Apple has added a new paragraph focused on users with implanted medical devices. Apple says that these suers should keep their iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessories more than 6 inches away from the medical device:
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.
Apple still adds, however, that while 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.”
Apple has new advice for MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger users as well:
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.
As we reported last month, the study done by the Heart Rhythm Journal found that a Medtronic pacemaker could be deactivated by holding an iPhone 12 near it. Again, the issue is with the magnets themselves, not necessarily the iPhone 12. Any magnet of the correct strength can impact a pacemaker.
You can find Apple’s full support document, entitled “About the magnets inside iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and MagSafe accessories,” on the Apple Support website.
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