Back in January, the Heart Rhythm Journal published an alarming report that found that Mag Safe magnet technology was being used to connect The iPhone 12 series with Apple and third-party accessories could turn off a life-sustaining pacemaker. In a support article by Apple wrote in January, the tech giant wrote, “Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators may contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact. To avoid possible interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories safe Distance from your device (more than 15 cm apart or more than 30 cm apart if you are charging wirelessly). ”
On Thursday, The FDA issued a press release reiterating a quote from Jeff Shuren, MD, JD, director of the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Dr. Shuren said that after reading articles like the one in the Heart rhythm diaryThe FDA has decided to conduct its own tests to determine whether “high-field magnets can temporarily interfere with the normal operation of implanted electronic medical devices such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators.” According to the FDA’s own testing, “we believe the risk to patients is low and the agency is currently not aware of any adverse events related to this issue.”
Strong magnets hold the MagSafe charger to the back of an iPhone 12
But that doesn’t mean that everyone is free at home. The FDA is concerned that the number of consumer devices with strong, strong magnets is likely to increase over time, and recommends those with an implanted medical device to discuss the situation with their doctor. Dr. Shuren says the agency “will continue to monitor the effects of consumer electronics on the safe operation of implanted medical devices.”
The FDA also had some tips to prevent situations where a strong field magnet placed in a consumer device would go into “magnet mode”, which could interfere with the normal operation of medical devices. The agency suggests that people with consumables like smartphones and smartwatches keep their devices at least 6 inches away from medical devices implanted in their bodies. Additionally, the FDA says consumer electronics should not be kept in a bag over the implanted medical devices.