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iPhone 12 can turn off pacemakers and medical devices, study concludes


a iPhone 12 can turn off a implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), known as pacemaker, when approaching him, concluded the study “Inhibition of life saving therapy by phones containing magnets”, published earlier this month, by the British Heart Rhythm Society scientific journal.

The study takes into account an iPhone 12 smartphone, manufactured by Apple and ICD devices manufactured by the American medical technology company, Medtronic. According to the researchers, when approaching an IPhone 12 to a Medtronic ICD, the device automatically shuts down, even if installed on a patient’s chest.

“As soon as the iPhone was brought closer to the CDI over the left chest area, immediate suspension of ICD treatment was observed, which persisted throughout the test. This was reproduced several times with different phone positions in the pocket ”, write the researchers.

The ICD shuts down due to the presence of a magnet on the back of the iPhone 12. Photo: British Heart Rhythm Society
The ICD shuts down due to the presence of a magnet on the back of the iPhone 12. Photo: British Heart Rhythm Society

According to the study, the device shuts down due to a magnet, which is on the back of the newly launched iPhone 12. The magnet exists for smartphones to be compatible with Apple’s MagSafe chargers.

“MagSafe technology contains a magnetometer and a single coil proximity field (NFC) reader. The magnets assist in the proper alignment of the iPhone in a wireless charger and other peripheral accessories and increase the speed of wireless charging (up to 15 Watts). So, we tested this interaction on a patient with a Medtronic Inc ICD ”, they write.

Shortly after the launch of the iPhones 12, Apple reported that all iPhones have magnets that can interfere with medical equipment, such as pacemakers. However, the iPhone 12 has more magnets than previous models.

“Although the iPhone 12 contains more magnets than previous models…. [Todos] iPhones contain magnets, as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. These magnets and electromagnetic fields can interfere with medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators”, Warns Apple.

The researchers believe this is a public health issue, as the equipment is used to keep people alive and this technology, present in iPhones, can kill patients treated with ICDs.

“We bring here a important public health issue related to the new generation of the iPhone 12, which can inhibit a treatment that saves a patient’s life, especially when carrying the phone in the top pocket ”, they conclude.

Sources: British Heart Rhythm Society; Medtronic; Apple.

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