Magnets in some smartphones, smartwatches may interfere with pacemakers and defibrillators. A study shows that magnets in some newer cellphones and smartwatches may disable the normal operation of implanted medical devices.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises people to keep a safe distance between smart devices and pacemakers.
Some studies have already shown the effect of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from smart devices on implantable pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs).
The latest study appeared in the most recent edition of Heart Rhythm, notes that consumer electronics could trigger the “magnet mode” in pacemakers and ICDs.
Recently, Seth Seidman, M.S. led a team of FDA experts to discover at which distance electronic devices could create magnetic interference.
For the study, the researchers measured the static magnetic fields of the iPhone 12s and the Apple Watch. The devices involved in this study were iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, and Apple Watch 6.
Based on the overall study, the researchers suggest individuals to keep consumer electronics at least 6 inches away from implanted devices, like pacemakers and defibrillators.
“The findings and conclusions in this article [or presentation] have not been formally disseminated by the FDA and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy,” the authors state.
Though the current study measured the static magnetic fields of iPhone 12 models and the Apple Watch, the authors believe that their research could be applicable to any electronic device that might create magnetic interference.