Source: Medscape

Further evidence that powerful magnets in some Apple iPhones can interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) comes from a small study that also suggests some devices are more susceptible than others.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max with MagSafe technology interfered with CIEDs implanted in three consecutive patients presenting to an electrophysiology lab and in eight of 11 implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers (72.7%) still in their original packaging.

The results, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, are consistent with a widely publicized single-patient report this February and evidence of electromagnetic interference with fitness wristbands and e-cigarettes.

The MagSafe technology supports wireless charging and is optimized by a ring-shaped array of magnets. Although magnet mode activation has been shown to occur in CIEDs with exposure to a magnetic field as low as 10 gauss, the field strength of the iPhone 12 Pro Max can be greater than 50 G when in direct contact, the researchers determined.

“If this becomes a standard in a lot of the new smartphones or companies start to use stronger magnets…then we will see more and more of these consumer electronic and device interactions,” senior author Michael Wu, MD, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, told | Medscape Cardiology.

In a May advisory on these device interactions, the US Food and Drug Administration also cautioned that the number of consumer electronics with strong magnets is expected to increase over time.


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