The new iPhone 12 launched only a few months ago, and it’s already made a pretty big splash with Apple fans. The new flagship phone offers a ton of upgraded features, including 5G technology, making it a popular smartphone choice.
Not only does the iPhone 12 come with a larger screen for more real estate to navigate, but it has offers a ton of other perks, too. For example, the ‘spy camera’ on the iPhone 12 will let you zoom 30x to see things miles away. That alone is a pretty significant upgrade.
But not everything is as great as it could be. While this new iPhone offers tons of high-end features, it is also causing serious issues for some with health conditions. If you’re considering an upgrade to Apple’s new flagship phone, you may want to make sure that it won’t cause your health to decline before buying it. Here’s what you need to know.
Here’s the backstory
If you use a pacemaker or defibrillator, you need to take note of this serious issue. Apple recently updated its supporting documents for iPhone 12 models, stating that the MagSafe magnetic charging system can cause electromagnetic interference with these types of life-saving devices.
Since the launch of iPhone 12, there have been concerns about the dangers of using MagSafe devices with defibrillators or pacemakers. The MagSafe system uses a ring of magnets on the phone’s back to snap onto a Qi wireless charger. These magnets help keep the charger in the right position for charging. Various other accessories use the same magnetic system.
The main issue with these magnets is that they can interfere with certain medical devices if they’re in close contact with them. Radio waves can also cause issues, which comes into play in this case, too. Both the MagSafe accessories contain magnets, and the chargers themselves use radios — which means that the risks of interference are real.
Why does it matter to you?
If you’re using a lifesaving pacemaker or defibrillator and have an iPhone 12, be careful. The link between iPhone 12 chargers and malfunctioning medical devices means that you could be at serious risk of a heart problem due to problematic interferences between them.
There is already evidence of this type of interference. According to a post from Heart Rhythm Journal, iPhone 12 handsets can “potentially inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient.”
Researchers note that doctors in Michigan held an iPhone 12 near an implanted cardioverter defibrillator and found that it entered a “suspended state,” which is a sure sign of interference. Pacemakers and defibrillators help keep your heart pumping blood through your body, so a suspended state could cause medical issues that aren’t easily dealt with in an emergency.
“Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact,” the updated supporting Apple documents state.
“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.”
What can you do about it?
Start by consulting your doctor. They may have insight into whether it’s safe for you to continue using your iPhone 12. The last thing you need is for your medical device to malfunction, so take precautions and make sure that you get some insight from a professional before continuing use of the phone.
If you suspect your iPhone 12 or the MagSafe charger is interfering with your medical device, you may also want to stop using it. Apple recommends that anyone using this phone or the accessories should stop if they suspect it’s causing issues with their medical devices.
If you opt to continue using your iPhone 12, Apple recommends keeping your medical device at least 6-12 inches away from a MagSafe charger and the phone.
The potential for your iPhone 12 charging system to cause issues with your medical devices is real. If you’re using a defibrillator or a pacemaker and have an iPhone 12 with the wireless charger, you need to be aware of the risks.
Research the information, read Apple’s updated support documentation and reach out to your doctor. Doing this will help ensure that your medical device works the way you need it to, without interference from your phone.