Apple’s iPhone 12 range is a sales hit, with millions now carrying one around with them. Unfortunately for those new owners, a serious new health warning around these phones has been raised.
Following confirmation from Apple last month that the new MagSafe magnets in the iPhone 12 range have the potential to interfere with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators, a new medical study has delivered a much more worrying update.
In an official press release, Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute cardiologist Gurjit Singh has revealed tests with the iPhone 12 discovered it can consistently stop defibrillators from working “in a way that could potentially be lethal.”
“When we brought the iPhone 12 close to the patient’s chest the defibrillator was deactivated,” states Singh. “We saw on the external defibrillator programmer that the functions of the device were suspended and remained suspended. When we took the phone away from the patient’s chest, the defibrillator immediately returned to its normal function.”
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“We were all stunned,” Singh explains. “We had assumed that the magnet[s] would be too weak in a phone to trip the defibrillator’s magnetic switch. We believe our findings have profound implications on a large scale for the people who live daily with these devices, who without thinking, will place their phone in their shirt pocket or upper pocket or their coat – not knowing that it can cause their defibrillator or pacemaker to function in a way that could potentially be lethal.”
Singh concludes that anyone with an iPhone 12 should keep it at least 6-inches away from their chest at all times. He also confirmed that the FDA has begun its own tests on the risk these magnets pose to defibrillator and pacemaker patients.
Over one million cardiac pacemakers are implanted every year worldwide of which approximately 200,000 are implanted in the United States alone, according to NCBI data. It states that “these numbers are expected to grow”.
Apple has previously defended the range on its support pages and mentioned that 6-inch range. That said it claims the iPhone 12 range is “not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.”
Following Singh’s research, however, pressure looks set to mount on Apple for further comment and a full investigation. Especially given that the entirety of its new MagSafe charging ecosystem is built around these magnets. I have approached Apple for comment and will update this post, when/if I receive a response.
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