A potentially fatal problem with the new iPhone 12 has been revealed, with medical bodies warning that the new device might interfere with pacemakers and implanted defibrillators.
The issue was first pointed out by Dr. Joshua Greenberg, a heart rhythm fellow at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit who found that the magnets in the iPhone 12 which help the device charge more quickly can also affect an implanted cardiac defibrillator.
The magnets help the iPhone attach to external chargers and accessories.
“When I first was reading about the new iPhone, they said the magnet was so strong, you could actually attach it to your refrigerator,” Greenberg told the Detroit Free Press. “I’m thinking, you know, if this thing’s strong enough to attach to a refrigerator, … I wonder what it would do to a potential device?”
Doctors found that when they held the iPhone 12 close to the chest of someone with an implanted defibrillator, the device was deactivated.
The revelation has caused a stir in the cardiology community, with a number of industry bodies issuing warnings about the Apple phone.
The Heart Foundation and the Australian and New Zealand Cardiac Device Advisory and Complication Committee (ANZCDACC) have both warned iPhone 12 users to avoid placing the device in a top shirt pocket.
Apple has since acknowledged the issue.
“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,” the company said in a blogpost.
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