Warning: An iPhone 12 Can Shut Down an Implantable Defibrillator

iPhone 12 Pro Credit: Martin Sanchez / Unsplash
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A new study published recently in Heart Rhythm Journal and reported by Futurism suggests the iPhone 12 may interfere with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. The interference could potentially shut down the device threatening the user’s health and possibly risking their life.

According to the study, the problem lies with Apple’s new MagSafe charging technology. The magnetic charger on the back of the smartphone emits a magnetic field that disrupts an implantable defibrillator.

This magnetic field caused an implantable defibrillator from Medtronic to repeatedly shut down. The effect was pronounced when the iPhone 12 was placed in a shirt pocket near the implantable defibrillator device, claimed a team of researchers from Henry Ford Heart Vascular Institute.

“Once the iPhone was brought close to the ICD over the left chest area, immediate suspension of ICD therapies was noted which persisted for the duration of the test,” the paper reads. “This was reproduced multiple times with different positions of the phone over the pocket.”

Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute researchers

The researchers warn iPhone 12 owners to not wear their iPhone in an upper short or jacket pocket if they have an implantable defibrillator device. The team also notes that this effect is not limited to the iPhone 12. A similar result was reported in another recent study focusing on wrist-worn fitness trackers.

This information, while eye-opening for many, is something Apple already disclosed. Documentation on Apple’s website warns iPhone owners that electromagnetic fields coming from an iPhone device “may interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.”

Apple goes on to note that this effect may occur in earlier iPhone models, too. Even though the iPhone 12 contains more magnets than previous iPhones, the risk of magnetic interference is not increased.

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