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iPhone 12 risks to pacemakers emphasized by doctors’ report

Almost all electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields when in use but the iPhone 12 series is special in that it actually contains magnets inside. These are used to support Apple’s new generation of MagSafe wireless charging but it may also have some effect on objects and devices that rely on magnetism to function correctly. Apple already issued a warning about the phones’ electromagnetic interference but insisted that it doesn’t carry more risk than any other iPhone before it, something that cardiologists discovered might not be the case.

Cardiologist Gurjit Singh and his colleagues at the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute published a report last month and have now revealed their findings that may raise more concerns over the iPhone 12. That is, at least for users with implanted medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators. Unfortunately, simply passing an iPhone 12 over a patient’s chest could already have dangerous effects.

According to the doctors’ experiments, the iPhone 12 deactivated the defibrillator just by passing over it. In the case of a pacemaker, it could cause the device to send an electrical charge and make the heart go out of sync, something it normally does when an irregular rhythm is detected to put the heart back in sync. These devices are actually designed to be controlled by magnets so that doctors won’t have to open patients up again and again for that purpose.

Unfortunately, the numbers that the doctors present raise the stakes even higher. According to Dr. Singh, about 300,000 people in the US get these devices implanted each year. Coupled with reports that one out of four phones sold last year was an iPhone 12, the chances of these phones ending up in people with implanted medical devices are also high.

Apple did publish an advisory on far users with such implants should use their iPhones, though it might always reach the people who do need to know about it. The FDA was reportedly already informed about the matter but neither it nor Apple has made any comments on the findings.

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iPhone 12, MagSafe could interfere with pacemakers

Although it was quite late to jump on the wireless charging bandwagon, Apple’s implementation did eventually introduce an element that, truth be told, should have become standard in almost all wireless charging systems today. Just like many of its small but significant conveniences, Apple used magnets to bring a bit of stability when wirelessly charging the iPhone 12. Impressive as it may be, the iPhone 12 and its matching MagSafe accessories had one side effect that may have gone unnoticed until recently.

Magnets are, of course, not without their positive and negative effects. The latter often involves other objects and devices that may also be dependent on magnetism or can be adversely affected by it. The worst-case scenario might happen when magnets interfere with life-saving implanted devices, namely pacemakers and defibrillators.

Almost all smartphones give off electromagnetic radiation due to their very nature but there is something special about the iPhone 12. Those are the magnets that are there specifically to hold MagSafe chargers and accessories in place. While Apple insists that the iPhone 12 doesn’t pose a greater risk of magnetic interference compared to older iPhones, it still updated its support documents to warn users about it.

This update came after a medical journal published doctors’ observations of how the iPhone 12 may accidentally inhibit lifesaving therapy from these implanted medical devices. Specifically, they tested the phone put a patient’s cardioverter defibrillator into suspend mode just by being near it. Apple’s updated document now advises people to keep their iPhones at least 6 inches away from pacemakers and the like when in use.

The warning also affects MagSafe accessories and especially MagSafe chargers. In fact, Apple extends the recommended safe distance to 12 inches when the iPhone 12 is charging wirelessly. While most people will probably stash or use their iPhones at that distance anyway, it should serve as an important and critical warning for those with implanted medical devices that tend to hold their iPhones close to their hearts, literally.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link