iPhone 12 magnets can be dangerous for people with medical implants

Doctors from the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute have published an article warning that the magnets in the iPhone 12 can be dangerous for people with medical implants.

MagSafe technology in next-generation iPhones can interfere with implantable devices such as cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Especially if “the patient carries the phone in the upper breast pocket.”

The magnets which are located in a circle in the iPhone, play an important role in aligning the device when charging with a MagSafe wireless tool. Apple also introduced a variety of MagSafe-enabled accessories, from cases to mini wallets for cash and credit cards.

“The first study author (JG) raised concerns about possible device-to-device interaction due to the strong magnetic array in the iPhones and MagSafe-compatible cases. Therefore, we tested this interaction on a patient using the Medtronic Inc. ICD. (Minneapolis, Minnesota). The study was approved by the institution’s supervisory board. We hereby report an important public health concern with the next generation iPhone 12 that could potentially impede patient rescue therapy, especially when the phone is carried on top”, — the researchers write.

Back in 2009, doctors found out that any magnets, as well as radio and electronic equipment that generate a magnetic field more powerful than 10 gauss, can interfere with the operation of systems inside cardioverters-defibrillators and stop their work. Now, doctors have tested the new iPhones and found that the new magnets are strong enough to cause dangerous malfunctions.

“When the iPhone was brought close to the ICD over the left side of the chest, there was an immediate interruption of ICD therapy that continued throughout the test. This result was reproduced several times with different positions of the phone in the pocket”, — says the article.

At the same time, Apple previously reported that new iPhone models would not pose a greater risk to medical devices than previous models. However, as doctors have now demonstrated, this is not true.

IPhone 12 dangerous for implants

Neveretheless, Apple still advised users to keep iPhones and MagSafe chargers at a safe distance from implants (more than 30 cm), and in case of any suspicion, immediately stop using the iPhone or MagSafe accessories.

Let me remind you that we also talked about the fact that One message in iMessage can turn iPhone into a piece of plastic, and that iPhone Bluetooth traffic can disclose phone number information and much more.

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About Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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