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Apple warns iPhone users to keep devices away from pacemakers

Pacemakers and other implanted medical devices contain sensors that could be affected by iPhones

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Photo (c) Klaus Vedfelt - Getty Images
Apple has put out a warning saying that iPhones could interfere with pacemakers, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs), and other medical devices. 

In a notice published on the company’s support page over the weekend, Apple said iPhones contain magnets and radios that emit electromagnetic fields -- and implanted medical devices contain sensors that could interact with these magnets and radios.

“IPhone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. All MagSafe accessories (each sold separately) also contain magnets — and MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger contain radios. These magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices,” Apple said.

Avoiding potential interactions

The company said all four iPhone 12 models have more magnets inside than older models. However, the new iPhones are “not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.”

To ensure the efficacy of implanted medical devices, Apple recommends keeping iPhones and MagSafe charging docks a “safe distance” away. The company defined a “safe distance” as more than six inches apart, or 15 inches apart when it is wirelessly charging. 

"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 iPhone or any MagSafe accessories," Apple said. 

The company added that consumers who feel like their iPhone 12 or MagSafe charger is interfering with their medical device should stop using them.

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