FDA’s Investigation Reveals iPhone 12 MagSafe Risk to Pacemakers Is Low

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 14 May 2021

A recent study by Heart Rhythm Journal indicated that the MagSafe charger on iPhone 12 could interfere with pacemakers. Apple assured that the iPhone 12 “doesn’t pose a greater risk of magnetic interference than prior models.” Now US Food and Drug Administration has issued an update to clear any misconceptions.

FDA announced in a press conference that it had conducted testing to check the impact of MagSafe chargers on implanted medical devices. The tests done by the federal agency revealed that “risk to patients is low,” and it is not aware of any adverse events at this time.

As a result of these actions, today we’re taking steps to provide information for patients and health care providers to ensure they are aware of potential risks and can take simple proactive and preventative measures. We believe the risk to patients is low, and the agency is not aware of any adverse events associated with this issue at this time. However, the number of consumer electronics with strong magnets is expected to increase over time. Therefore, we recommend people with implanted medical devices talk with their health care provider to ensure they understand this potential risk and the proper techniques for safe use.

FDA remarks that usage of consumer electronics devices is only set to increase in the future. Therefore the patients should consult with health care providers and ascertain “potential risk and the proper techniques for safe use.” Furthermore, FDA has listed precautions that patients with implanted medical devices should take.

The FDA advises patients with implanted medical devices to consider taking precautions, including:

  • Keeping consumer electronics, such as certain cell phones and smartwatches, six inches away from implanted medical devices.
  • Refraining from carrying consumer electronics in a pocket over the medical device.
    Talking to your health care provider if you have questions regarding magnets in consumer electronics and implanted medical devices.
  • The agency also encourages health care professionals to report adverse events or safety issues. The FDA findings seem to be in line with Apple’s updated support documents.

Meanwhile, Apple suggests patients with medical implants to keep their iPhone 12 and MagSafe accessory 6-inch away and consult physician for “specific guidelines.”

[via FDA]