Apple has published a list of products that might interfere with users’ medical devices like implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. “Under certain conditions, magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices,” Apple said.
It suggested that users keep the products at a safe distance from their medical devices. The list includes AirPods, Apple Watch, iPads, iPhone 12 models and MacBook Pro.
However, with the usage of magnets, came a health concern, especially for those users who have to live with implanted medical devices like a pacemaker.
Shortly after the launch of MagSafe, doctors expressed their concerns over MagSafe’s effect on pacemakers in a medical journal. Apple later responded to the report on its support page, saying that the magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices.
Some Apple Watches can take an electrocardiogram test that records the timing and strength of the electrical signals that make the heart beat but the current notice warns of risks from components in some products.
Under certain conditions, magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices,” Apple said. For example, it noted, “implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact”. Implanted defibrillators send electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms.
The new list was published on a support page, that earlier this month had said, iPhone 12 models were “not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices” than other iPhones.
FDA conducted its own testing to confirm and help inform about appropriate recommendations for patients and consumers. The FDA said that while the risk is low, the number of consumer electronics with strong magnets is expected to increase over time. Therefore, the agency recommended users to consult with their health providers to ensure they understand the potential risk and proper techniques for safe use. “We believe the risk to patients is low and the agency is not aware of any adverse events associated with this issue at this time.
However, the number of consumer electronics with strong magnets is expected to increase over time. Therefore, we recommend people with implanted medical devices talk with their health care provider to ensure they understand this potential risk and the proper techniques for safe use,” the FDA said in a statement.