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A new study claims Apple’s iPhone 12 with MagSafe can interfere with people’s pacemakers

Apple says to consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device

magsafe on iphone
Image: Daniel Romero / Unsplash

A new medical study published in the Heart Rhythm Journal suggests that the new Magsafe charger may interfere with people’s pacemakers. In light of this news, Apple said that iPhone 12 with Magsafe does not create any greater interference than the older iPhone models.

Though all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they’re not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.

Apple admits the fact that the iPhone features components and magnets that emit electromagnetic fields. They also acknowledge that electromagnetic fields and magnets may disrupt the work of medical devices like defibrillators and pacemakers.

However, they did mention that the new iPhone 12 lineup contains more magnets than its predecessors. Even despite that, they are adamant and stick to their official stance on the matter – “iPhone 12/MagSafe wouldn’t interfere more than previous iPhones.”

Simultaneously, another study shows that a pacemaker deactivated by an iPhone placed right next to it will not cause any significant disruption. Some experts believe that additional data and research are needed, and this one study opens the doors to that. Plus, it’s not just the iPhones that contain magnets that can interfere with medical devices.

Practically, all other smartphones contain magnets and emit electromagnetic fields too. Yet, there aren’t any significant studies that examine the effects of smartphone induced electromagnetic fields over medical devices.

The fix to this issue is seen in using ultrasonic receiver-emitter pair. That tech builds on basic 40 kHz carrier waves and uses relatively simple code that prevents interference from other sources. 

Until companies start using safer technology, it’s safe to keep smartphones away from defibrillators and pacemakers. According to some unconfirmed reports, Medtronic and other companies are actively working to make their technology safer by getting rid of magnets.

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