Apple has updated the product support pages on its website to include new information on the possible magnetic interference that its products may cause with medical equipment like pacemakers. Along with several other goods, it has recently included the Apple Watch on this list.
Interference with the iPhone 12
The company sent a warning about the potential for similar issues roughly six months ago with regard to the iPhone 12. When the phone is carried in the upper chest pocket, it increases the likelihood that it will interfere with medical devices. This is due to the fact that this specific model incorporates MagSafe capabilities, which include magnets for attaching certain devices and faster wireless charging.
Apple issued the following warning in January: “If you feel that your iPhone or any MagSafe accessories are interfering with your medical device, you should cease using your iPhone and any MagSafe accessories.”
Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro.
An article that was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association less than a month ago issued a cautionary note regarding the occurrence of such events, as stated by the American Heart Association (AHA). They examined a total of 14 cardiac devices and discovered that interference occurred in 11 of them when an iPhone 12 Max Pro was held within 1.5 centimeters of them. The problem existed even when the smartphone was still encased in its original packaging from the manufacturer!
This particular study is not the only one of its kind. Additionally, the HeartRhythm Society has issued a warning regarding the potential risks posed by the iPhone 12 series to medical equipment.
Products included on the list.
The Apple Watch, Air Pods, and charging cases are the newest additions to this list, which also include HomePods, iPads, Macs, and Beats headphones in addition to the already existing items. A few days ago, an update was made available.
The following items complete the list:
- AirPods, in addition to their Charging Case (and Wireless Charging Case)
- AirPods Pro and a Charging Case That Is Wireless
- a Smart Case and a pair of AirPods Max
- Watch on Apple Inc.
- Bands for the Apple Watch that contain magnets
- Magnetic charging accessories designed for the Apple Watch
- HomePod mini iPad (including mini, Air, Pro)
- Smart Cases and Smart Folios are available for the iPad.
- iPad Smart Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Magic Keyboard for iPad and iPhone models 12 and up
- MagSafe accessories
- Macintosh (including mini, Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac)
- Beats X PowerBeats Pro UrBeats3 Apple Pro Display XDR Beats Flex Beats X PowerBeats3
What exactly is the source of the interference?
The fact that the aforementioned products contain magnets is the source of the problem. Magnets and electromagnetic fields can sometimes disrupt the normal functioning of medical gadgets because of their extreme sensitivity to these two forces.
A pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, for instance, will have sensors that, when in close proximity to other external magnets and radios, will be able to interact with those devices. Additionally, these components can be discovered in other goods in addition to the Apple Watch.
It goes without saying that you want to maintain the flawless operation of any cardiac implantable electronic device. Certain individuals cannot function regularly without them because they assist in maintaining a normal heartbeat.
Because of this, Apple suggests keeping the products on the list as mentioned above at least 15 centimeters (about 6 inches) away from any medical devices. If you are using wireless charging, you should keep them at a spacing that is twice as far apart as 15 centimeters (12 inches).
Products made by Apple and those made by other manufacturers are, of course, not that dissimilar to one another. Therefore, the caution regarding the potential interference applies to everything.
If you have cardiac implantable electronic devices, you should be aware of the hazards associated with wearing smart wearables, headphones, and certain smartphones. You should consult your physician and the device manufacturer for more specific instructions. Most importantly, if you have any clue that something might be wrong, you should immediately discontinue using the product.