Apple introduced (or re-introduced) a new charging system on the iPhone 12 series called MagSafe, which relies on a ring of magnets placed beneath the rear panel for magnetically attaching to wireless chargers and juicing up the battery. And with the apparatus being made of magnets, it sure will cause some interference with devices – including medical devices – whose functioning and readings can be affected by other magnetic objects in their vicinity. As such, Apple has updated its support page telling users to keep their iPhone 12 series phones from getting too close to health devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.
Apple notes that the magnets inside the MagSafe hardware and the electromagnetic field generated by them might interfere with medical devices. However, the risk posed by the MagSafe system – and essentially the iPhone 12 series phones as a whole – is not too high, nor it is significantly higher than older iPhones without the MagSafe system. “Though all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they’re not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models,” Apple says in the support document (via Macrumors).
To ensure that the magnets and radio apparatus inside the iPhone 12 does not interfere with the sensors inside medical devices, Apple suggests keeping them 6 inches (or at least 15cm) apart and more than 12 inches (or 30cm) apart if the iPhone 12 is wirelessly charging. Lastly, Apple notes that if users suspect that their iPhone 12 or MagSafe charger is interfering with their medical devices, they should stop using their Apple device.
However, most medical devices such as pacemakers come with detailed instructions regarding the potential hazards of using other electronics when nearby. It is therefore recommended that one should consult a medical expert in detail regarding all the do’s and dont’s to ensure that their daily use devices such as phones, smartwatches, or wireless chargers do not interfere with the functioning of their life-saving medical devices.
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