Three Michigan doctors discovered earlier this year that the iPhone 12 models could “potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient” because the MagSafe system may cause magnetic interference with implantable medical devices such as pacemakers.
Continuing its testing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this week that even if specific newer smartphones, smart watches and other electronic items with magnets may temporarily affect the normal operation of implanted medical devices including implantable defibrillators and pacemakers, the risk to patients is “low”.
The FDA also added that it is “not aware of any adverse events associated with this issue at this time.”
The FDA, however, has advised patients with implanted medical devices to consider taking the following precautions:
- Keeping consumer electronics, such as certain cell phones and smart watches, six inches away from implanted medical devices.
- Refraining from carrying consumer electronics in a pocket over the medical device.
- Talking to your health care provider if you have questions regarding magnets in consumer electronics and implanted medical devices.
The precautions imposed by the FDA are in compliance with the guidelines shared by Apple, which duly advises consumers to keep their iPhone and MagSafe accessories more than 12 inches away from their iPhone if it’s being wirelessly charged, or more than six inches away from their medical device.
Apple also says customers can consult with their physician and the device manufacturer for the specific and complete guidelines, to ensure they understand the potential risks and employ the proper techniques for safe usage.