Apple issues iPhone 12 warning for pacemakers, defibrillators

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:31 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The latest iPhone comes with a crucial new warning for consumers with pacemakers or defibrillators.

Although you can’t see it, the iPhone 12 has a magnetic ring that allows the device to connect to a charging base. That ring produces a magnetic field so strong that people living with a pacemaker or defibrillator should be cautious.

Apple has since put out a warning.

“In most cases, it triggers the pacemaker to stop sensing the heart. A defibrillator — it will trigger it to turn off the shock therapy, so that it wouldn’t shock the heart if needed,” Dr. Eric Van De Graaff, a cardiologist at Bergan Mercy, said Monday.

Dr. Van De Graaff said a pacemaker is normally placed just below the collar bone. He urges those with the medical device and the iPhone 12 to be mindful of the proximity of those two devices.

“People have a pocket right there, like I have,” he said, motioning to his shirt pocket. “And if they choose to keep their phone in their pocket, that’s in close enough proximity that it can cause trouble.”

Apple suggests people keep at least a six-inch distance between the two devices, but Van De Graaff recommends even farther if the device is on a charger.

“If it’s actually attached to the charger while it’s charging, it actually produces more of a field. So, you should keep it 12 inches away,” he said.

If pacemakers or defibrillators come into contact with the iPhone 12, the patient will be OK as soon as they create that distance once again, the doctor said.

“Everything goes back to normal. So, you don’t reset things accidentally. So, you know if you just obey common sense. Keep it away, there’s not much to worry about,” Dr. Van De Graaff said.

Patients with a pacemaker or defibrillator who happen to have the latest iPhone are advised to speak with their cardiologist.

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