Apple issues health warning to millions to keep their iPhone six inches away from their chest — saying device can interfere with pacemakers
Apple is warning users who have a pacemaker or other implanted medical device to keep their iPhone at least six inches from their chest.
The tech behemoth warns that the magnets and electromagnetic field may interfere with the machines’ functions – which could be fatal.
Around 3million Americans have an implanted pacemaker and 200,000 have a defibrillator, estimates suggest.
The updated warning from Apple now includes its newest generation iPhone 13 and 14. Airpods, Apple watches and accessories, HomePods, Ipads, Macs and Beats’ headphones are also not to be placed near the chest of someone with an implant.
Last month, a study found that people who use FitBits, Apple watches and other similar devices could interfere with the implanted devices.
Apple now warns that users of the iPhones 12, 13, 14 to keep the device at least six inches away from their chest if they have a pacemaker or ICD device implanted (file photo)
‘Under certain conditions, magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices,’ Apple wrote in a blog post.
‘For example, implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact.
‘To avoid any potential interactions with these types of medical devices, keep your Apple product a safe distance away from your medical device.’
Many electronic devices carry this risk, and people who receive these implantations are usually aware of them.
These warnings arose with the release of the iPhone 12 in October 2020. Months later, the Americans Heart Association warned about the magnets in them.
‘We have always known that magnets can interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices, however, we were surprised by the strength of the magnets used in the iPhone 12 magnet technology,’ Dr Michelle Wu, a Brown University researchers, said in 2021.
‘In general, a magnet can change a pacemaker’s timing or deactivate a defibrillator’s lifesaving functions, and this research indicate the urgency for everyone to be aware that electronic devices with magnets can interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices.
A person may have a pacemaker implanted when they suffer from bradycardia, a condition that occurs when the heart beats too slowly.
It could also be used in rare cases for tachycardia, when the heart beats too fast or at an irregular rate.
An irregular heartbeat puts a person at an increased risk of suffering a stroke or heart failure.
A pacemaker device sends electrical pulses to the heart that spurs it to beat at a regular rate.
Some people suffering from an irregular heartbeat may instead receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD).
These are used for people diagnosed with ventricular arrhythmia, a disease that forms when a person’s irregular heartbeat is spurred from the bottom of their chest.
It will occasionally deliver an electrical shock to the heart when it detects the heartbeat has gotten off rhythm.
Devices Apple warns to keep at least six inches from your heart
- AirPods and charging case
- AirPods Pro and charging case
- AirPods Max and Smart Case
- Apple Watch
- Apple Watch bands with magnets
- Apple Watch magnetic charging accessories
- iPad mini
- iPad Air
- iPad Pro
- iPad Smart Covers and Smart Folios
- iPad Smart Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
- Magic Keyboard Folio
- Magic Keyboard for iPad
- iPhone 12 models
- iPhone 13 models
- iPhone 14 models
- MagSafe accessories
- Mac mini
- Mac Pro
- MacBook Air
- MacBook Pro
- Apple Pro Display XDR
- Beats Flex
- Beats Studio Buds
- Powerbeats Pro