Report: MagSafe on iPhone 12 Could Interfere With Cardiac Devices and Pacemaker

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 3 Jun 2021

iPhone 12 Pacemaker magsafe interference

Ever since iPhone 12’s release, heart and other healthcare associations have been wondering about the effects of MagSafe on cardiac devices like pacemakers. A recent study conducted by America’s Food and Drug Association claimed that iPhone 12 MagSafe’s risk to pacemakers was low. However, a new study by American Heart Association (AHA) claims otherwise.

According to AHA, iPhone 12’s MagSafe can cause interference with pacemakers when placed over the skin or very close to the heart. The study claims that pacemakers from three major cardiac device companies, including Medtronic, Abbott, and Boston Scientific, were “found to have magnetic susceptibility.”

“Our study demonstrates that magnet reversion mode may be triggered when the iPhone 12 Pro Max is placed directly on the skin over an implantable cardiac device and thus has the potential to inhibit lifesaving therapies.”

Apple states that iPhone 12 does not “pose a greater risk for magnet interference” as compared to older iPhones. However, the study states otherwise. AHA says that it tested 11 different pacemakers and defibrillators with iPhone 12 Pro Max, out of which almost all the cardiac devices were affected.

The study divided patients into two parts — one which already had implanted a pacemaker called ‘in vivo’ and others who didn’t have a pacemaker implanted before the study called ‘ex vivo’. The degree of interference varied with every device, however, all the devices were affected.

In some cases, iPhone 12 was able to cause interference in the normal functioning of a pacemaker up to a distance of 1.5cm (0.6 inches).

The study concludes by saying, “Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max MagSafe technology can cause magnet interference on CIEDs and has the potential to inhibit lifesaving therapy.”