In a recently updated support document, Apple revealed a list of products that should be kept a safe distance away from medical devices. The medical devices mentioned in the document are implanted pacemakers and defibrillators that “might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact.”
The culprit seems to be magnetic interference created by some devices. Apple, for its part, suggests keeping your medical devices at a safe distance of between 6 to 12 inches away if the Apple product is wirelessly charging. Apple also suggested you consult with your physician and device manufacturers for specific guidelines.
The list of Apple Products to be concerned about covers almost the entire Apple product line.
AirPods and charging cases
- AirPods and Charging Case
- AirPods and Wireless Charging Case
- AirPods Pro and Wireless Charging Case
- AirPods Max and Smart Case
Apple Watch and accessories
- Apple Watch
- Apple Watch bands with magnets
- Apple Watch magnetic charging accessories
iPad and accessories
- iPad mini
- iPad Air
- iPad Pro
- iPad Smart Covers and Smart Folios
- iPad Smart Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
- Magic Keyboard for iPad
iPhone and MagSafe accessories
- iPhone 12 models
- MagSafe accessories
Mac and accessories
- Mac mini
- Mac Pro
- MacBook Air
- MacBook Pro
- Apple Pro Display XDR
- Beats Flex
- Beats X
- PowerBeats Pro
In a recent study released by the American Heart Association, the organization found that 11 out of 14 pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators experienced interference when an iPhone 12 Pro Max was held close or near the cardiac devices, usually within 1.5 meters or approximately 4.9 feet, even when the medical device was in its manufacturer sealed packaging.
Dr. Michael Wu, the lead study investigator, stated “We have always known that magnets can interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices; however, we were surprised by the strength of the magnets used in the iPhone 12 magnet technology.
He continued, “In general, a magnet can change a pacemaker’s timing or deactivate a defibrillator’s lifesaving functions, and this research indicates the urgency for everyone to be aware that electronic devices with magnets can interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices.”
The study concluded, “We hereby report an important public health issue concerning the newer-generation iPhone 12, which potentially can inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient, particularly when the phone is carried in an upper chest pocket. Contemporary studies have shown a minimal risk of electromagnetic interference from ICDs and older-generation smartphones not having a magnetic array.”
It’s interesting to see a tech maker create a list of its products to be wary of. Still, it begs one to wonder why other makers haven’t also warned about these issues since they tend to use similar technology.