Can an iPhone 12 disable pacemakers or other heart devices?

On January 2, 2021, researchers published a paper investigating the possibility that the iPhone 12’s magnetic field could affect the function of a medical device known as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Several outlets originally reported – erroneously – that this study investigated the effect on an iPhone 12 on a pacemaker, not an ICD. Although all modern ICDs include pacemakers, ICDs are specifically designed to react to the onset of an irregular heartbeat and then send an electrical shock to restore the correct heart rhythm.

As described in their article, “Once the iPhone 12 was brought close to the ICD on the left chest area, the immediate discontinuation of ICD therapies was noted and remained for the duration of the test.” Consequently, the authors warned that “the next generation iPhone 12 … can potentially inhibit life-saving therapy in a patient, particularly while carrying the phone in their upper pockets.”

There is some controversy over the identification …

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