FDA Says Risk of MagSafe Interference With Pacemakers is Low

Earlier this year, three doctors in Michigan found that iPhone 12 models can "potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient" due to the MagSafe system causing magnetic interference with implantable medical devices, like pacemakers.

magsafecasedangle
Following its own testing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week announced that while certain newer cell phones, smart watches, and other electronics with magnets may temporarily affect the normal operation of implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators, the risk to patients is "low." The FDA added it is "not aware of any adverse events associated with this issue at this time."

However, the FDA has advised patients with implanted medical devices to consider taking the following precautions:

  • Keeping consumer electronics, such as certain cell phones and smart watches, six inches away from implanted medical devices.

  • Refraining from carrying consumer electronics in a pocket over the medical device.

  • Talking to your health care provider if you have questions regarding magnets in consumer electronics and implanted medical devices.

The FDA's precautions are in line with guidelines shared by Apple, which advises customers to keep their iPhone and MagSafe accessories more than six inches away from their medical device, or more than 12 inches apart if the iPhone is being wirelessly charged. Apple says to consult with a physician and the device manufacturer for specific guidelines.

The FDA's announcement was highlighted earlier by 9to5Mac.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

1258186 Avatar
20 weeks ago

In fact it is all about some general knowledge about yourself and your health status. One might place a magnetic iPhone in the pocket of their jacket. Knowing there is a pacemaker right there behind that pocket might be a reason, not to do that, instead of declaring that magnet as "dangerous". So, a wise decision of the FDA.

Anyone thinking about to declare hazelnuts as dangerous, because there are quite some allergic reactions?
The FDA are right to make the general public aware of any potential risks. My father had a pacemaker, he also had dementia so he wouldn’t remember any safety advice he was given.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ctdonath Avatar
20 weeks ago
As someone with a pacemaker, let me clarify:

"Interfere" means anything that causes anomalous/undesired behavior, however petty. Placing a magnet on a pacemaker will override normal operation, flipping to a default pacing rate (60 BPM). This is intentional, so medical personnel can force the device to a stable & reasonable state if anything is awry [insert personal anecdote]. This isn't bad, it's just little more than an annoyance. Simply removing the magnet will restore normal device operation.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
20 weeks ago
While I don't have a pacemaker, anything with magnets should cause caution around people with pacemakers. This is another device to add to the list.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
axantas Avatar
20 weeks ago
In fact it is all about some general knowledge about yourself and your health status. One might place a magnetic iPhone in the pocket of their jacket. Knowing there is a pacemaker right there behind that pocket might be a reason, not to do that, instead of declaring that magnet as "dangerous". So, a wise decision of the FDA.

Anyone thinking about to declare hazelnuts as dangerous, because there are quite some allergic reactions?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
m4mario Avatar
19 weeks ago
Well the FDA are a bunch of technicians. They know technical stuff. Unlike EU lawmakers who have no clue about anything.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
20 weeks ago
it has been awhile since the FDA was anything but a big business mouthpiece, so I am not surprised. Wonder what the science says?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
nomad 20 percent off exlusive fixed

Exclusive Deals: Get 20% Off Sitewide at Nomad This Week

Tuesday April 6, 2021 8:08 am PDT by
MacRumors and Nomad have partnered up this week to offer our readers a chance to save 20 percent on any full-priced products across Nomad's entire website, using the code MACRUMORS. This sitewide sale will last through April 11 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Nomad. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps...
maxresdefault

Fake MagSafe Accessories Might Be a Bargain, But Watch Out for Shortcomings

Monday March 29, 2021 2:17 pm PDT by
Apple accessories like watch bands and cases are often imitated by companies who want to make a quick buck fooling customers, and the new MagSafe charging line is no exception. There are dozens of fake MagSafe and MagSafe Duo chargers out there that consumers need to watch out for. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Deals: Save on Apple's MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger Accessories

Tuesday May 25, 2021 7:30 am PDT by
Today we're tracking a pair of deals on Apple's two MagSafe accessories, the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger. These sales can both be found on Amazon, and both are in stock and ready to ship out today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
apple watch series 6 product red back

Apple Watch Users More Likely to Have Medical Procedures on Their Heart, Study Finds

Wednesday June 2, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Apple Watch users with an irregular heartbeat are not visiting doctors more often, but they are more likely to be treated with a heart procedure, a study has found (via The Verge). The study examined 125 people with atrial fibrillation and a heart-monitoring wearable, such as the Apple Watch, who visited the University of Utah Health during a 90-day period, and compared them to a group of...
macbook air purple

MagSafe Finally Returning to MacBook Air

Monday April 12, 2021 3:20 am PDT by
Apple's MagSafe charging connector is expected to make a long-awaited return to the MacBook Air in the near future, according to reliable reports. A January report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air will feature the return of MagSafe charging. MagSafe‌ first debuted in January 2006 when Apple launched the first-ever MacBook Pro and was present on...
Cheesegrater iPhone and Trashcan Pro 2

Apple Researching Mac Pro's 'Cheese Grater' Design for Other Devices Like iPhone

Tuesday March 30, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Apple is researching expanding the 2019 Mac Pro's distinctive "cheese grater" lattice design to other devices, including the iPhone and a "trashcan"-style Mac Pro, according to a newly granted patent filing. Apple introduced an innovative milled lattice pattern on the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR in 2019, which is created by machining a spherical array into the internal and external surfaces...
MagSafe 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Why Is Apple Bringing Back This Old MacBook Pro Feature?

Thursday June 3, 2021 3:05 am PDT by
Apple is expected to bring back the MagSafe connector on this year's redesigned MacBook Pro models to facilitate a number of useful features, including faster charging speeds, according to recent reports. ‌MagSafe‌‌ first debuted in January 2006 when Apple launched the first-ever MacBook Pro. The ‌‌MagSafe‌‌ port featured a rectangular design with five holes, which corresponded to an ...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Deals: MagSafe Duo Charger Drops to $112.45 on Amazon ($16.55 Off)

Friday April 16, 2021 10:58 am PDT by
A new sale has hit Apple's MagSafe Duo Charger today on Amazon, now available for $112.45, down from $129.00. The MagSafe Duo includes a Lightning to USB-C cable, but not Apple's 20W USB-C Power Adapter. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. We have seen the...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...