Apple issues a new warning: keep your iPhone six inches away from the pacemaker

In a notice posted on Apple’s support page On Saturday, the company expanded on the previous publication safety information, warning users that iPhones contain magnets and radios that emit electromagnetic fields, which “can interfere” with medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. Saturday’s notice specifically warns users about the “magnets inside” all four iPhone 12 models, as well as MagSafe accessories. Apple (AAPL) notes that iPhone 12 versions contain more magnets than previous iPhone models, but also said they pose no greater risk of magnetic interference with medical devices than previous models.

Apple said in the update that medical devices may contain sensors that can react to magnets or radio waves that are in close proximity. The company recommends keeping iPhones and MagSafe chargers a “safe distance” from medical devices, which it defines as more than 6 inches away or 15 inches away when charging wirelessly.

When Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 last fall, the company also announced the return of MagSafe – formerly a beloved feature of the MacBook – for the iPhone. Customers can purchase MagSafe charging docks to wirelessly charge their devices and other magnetic accessories including cases and wallets that attach to the back of phones. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to why it is now expanding the safety guide. But the heart rhythm diary published a report earlier this month claiming that the iPhone 12’s magnets that make it compatible with MagSafe accessories could interfere with an implanted defibrillator. Health experts have long warned do not use or keep mobile phones too close to implanted medical devices, such as warning people not to put them in shirt pockets.

“Consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for specific medical device information and whether you need to maintain a safe distance between the medical device and your iPhone or any MagSafe accessory,” Apple said in the notice. “Manufacturers often provide recommendations on the safe use of their devices around wireless or magnetic products to prevent possible interference.”

If a customer feels their iPhone 12 or MagSafe charger is interfering with their medical device, they should stop using them, Apple said.

Another thing iPhone 12 users should be aware of when using MagSafe chargers: avoid placing credit cards, security badges, passports or key fobs between the phone and the MagSafe charger, as the magnets could damage the magnetic strips or RFID chip in these items, Apple warns. If you have a phone case that contains such items, be sure to remove them before wirelessly charging the device. Via:

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