iPhone 12 and Apple Watch magnets could affect pacemakers

Apple devices have magnets that could meddle with the pacemakers implants, suggests NewScientist. The latest iPhone 12 flagship series have magnets on the back to work in tandem with the wireless MagSafe charging technology. Also, the Apple Watch Series 6 (all the previous versions as well) has magnets to latch onto the proprietary charging dock.

According to researchers, having the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch 6, if held closely, could cause the pacemaker to shut down. The pacemaker implants reportedly have a ‘magnet mode’ which is to be triggered when the patient is undergoing tests such as an MRI scan.

On the Apple website, a Lynda H asked the question “Is Apple Watch safe when you have a pacemaker? Does the magnet interfere?”

The following answer was provided by someone from the community-

Apple Watch, some of the bands, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock contain magnets. These electromagnetic fields and magnets may interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators. 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 Apple Watch, its bands, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock. 

watchOS 7.5

The FDA suggests that people with implanted medical devices may want to take some simple precautions such as:

  • Keep the consumer electronics, such as certain cell phones and smart watches, six inches away from implanted medical devices.
  • Do not carry consumer electronics in a pocket over the medical device. 
  • Check your device using your home monitoring system, if you have one.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you are experiencing any symptoms or have questions regarding magnets in consumer electronics and implanted medical devices.

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