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New iPhone could disable pacemaker or implanted defibrillator

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The new iPhone 12 could potentially interfere with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators.

The new iPhone 12 could potentially interfere with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators.

There are about 200,000 Australians who have had a pacemaker or defibrillator implanted, according to a 2018 study published in the Australian Journal of General Practice.

The devices work by using electricity to keep the heart beating or shock it into a normal rhythm.

READ MORE: Apple iPhone 12 hands-on review

The new iPhone 12 has been shown to interfere with pacemakers and defibrillators.

Dr Sanjaya Gupta, cardiologist and electro-physiologist, at Saint Luke's Mid American Heart Institute in the US, explains these devices are engineered to be controlled by a magnetic switch, to avoid additional, unnecessary surgery.

"That was originally done as a safety feature if there was a fracture in one of the wires or malfunction of the device, causing to shock inappropriately … a doctor can take a magnet and place it over the device and thereby disable the device."

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So, when the new iPhone 12 was released - touting a magnet so strong , you could actually attach it to your refrigerator. It made scientists wonder... and sure enough, a test showed it can, indeed , disable implanted cardiac devices.

Cardiologists and the FDA are planning more independent testing on this potential lethal combination - but, Apple has already published a statement noting that the magnets and electromagnetic fields in the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and MagSafe accessories might interfere with medical devices.

"Phone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. All MagSafe accessories (each sold separately) also contain magnets—and MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger contain radios. These magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices," Apple said in a statement.

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"Though all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they're not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.

"Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact. To avoid any potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from your device (more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging). But consult with your physician and your device manufacturer for specific guidelines."

Doctors are advising patients with these phones to avoid storing them in their breast pocket and always more than six inches away from your implanted device.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/the-new-iphone-could-disable-your-pacemaker-or-implanted-defibrillator/a2e0d467-c3ab-4400-a048-6d7e1d28877b

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