iPhone 12 and medical devices: how dangerous is it?

National News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Earlier this month, Apple released a statement warning about the iPhone 12 and its possible effects on pacemakers and defibrillators.

Apple warns that people with these devices should consult with their phsyicicans about the health risks.

The iPhone 12 has magnets so powerful that it can disable defibrillators and interfere with the rhythm of a pacemaker.

Wane 15’s Angie Trindade spoke to Dr. David Schleinkofer of the Parkview Heart Institute who explained that both pacemakers and defibrillators have a component called a read switch that’s sensitive to a magnet.

According to Apple, the phone should be kept 6 inches away from these devices and 12 inches apart while wirelessly charging.

The FDA is currently running tests on the iPhone 12 and these medical devices. So far, there have been no reports of life-threatening cases.

Dr. Schleinkofer also reassured that everyday activities such as chatting on the phone, texting, or even keeping the phone in a back pocket are not a danger. It’s all about proximity.

“The phone has to be as close as possible to the device to interfere,” he said, “but if you’re laying down or laying on the device that’s more likely a situation for interference…you might not notice symptoms that would be from a heart problem.”

So, how dangerous is it to have an iPhone 12 and a pacemaker or defibrillator? As long as patients are mindful of where the place their phones on their body in relation to their devices, the risk is relatively low.

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