American Heart Association (AHA) devices with Apple technology can cause interference when placed over the skin or near heart devices such as pacemakers. AHA researchers found that “selected devices” from all three major cardiac device companies (Medtronic, Abbott and Boston Scientific) were “found to have magnetic sensitivity.”
“Our study shows that magnetic reversal mode can be triggered when placed directly on the skin over an implantable heart device and thus has the potential to inhibit life-saving therapies,” the researchers wrote in the newspaper, which was first discovered by .
They tested the effect of MagSafe on heart devices by placing the iPhone very close to 1
Placing the iPhone on top of the skin or near devices “resulted in clinically identifiable magnetic interference” in all three in vivo devices tested and in eight of 11 ex vivo devices. The iPhone was capable of “triggering magnetic reversal mode” on an ex vivo device “at a distance of up to 1.5 cm.”
Apple states in a statement that the iPhone 12 does not “pose a greater risk of magnetic interference compared to older generation iPhones,” the paper, Journal of the American Heart Association notes. “However, our study suggests otherwise when magnetic response was demonstrated in 3/3 cases in vivo. Compared to the older generation iPhone 6, a study conducted by Lacour et al., Found no cases of magnetic response in a sample size of 148 patients.”
Potential disturbance can occur when someone places a MagSafe device in a coat or shirt pocket over the chest, which the researchers say “can lead to asynchronous pacing or deactivation of antitachycardic therapy.” A strong enough external magnet can cause problems with many cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), as noted in the paper, so the problem is not exclusive to MagSafe technology.
The researchers say their findings highlight “the importance of public awareness of the interaction between CIEDs and a recently released smartphone model with magnetic charging. Although the Food and Drug Administration website says that mobile phones do not pose a significant health risk to patients with these devices,” they acknowledge that certain precautions may be advisable. “
Apple revised the MagSafe support document in January. It recommends that iPhone 12 users keep the device. The paper’s authors also suggested that patients should “consult a cardiologist regarding recommendations specific to the smartphone and CIED.”
Which AppleInsider notes correspond to the findings of the study , who pointed out that the iPhone 12 can affect the CIED when placed on or very close to the implant. The AHA article also recommends a broader study of the problem.
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