Apple warns: the iPhone 12 can be dangerous for those who have a pacemaker

Heart sufferers with a pacemaker risk big if they use the wireless charger of the new iPhone 12: here's what happens to the life-saving medical device.

The warning comes directly from Apple: the iPhone 12 can be dangerous for pacemaker wearers. In addition to the smartphone, the MagSafe, or rather the magnet contained in the wireless charging accessory, could interfere with this type of medical device, blocking its operation.

To allow wireless charging through the Apple charger, MagSafe and MagSafe Duo use a special system of magnets. Once the smartphone and the charging cradle are correctly positioned, the two "magnets" contained in them keep the two elements close to each other, preventing them from moving, while at the same time allowing the transfer of the charge to the device's battery. Although simple, this system is not without risks, since the power of the magnets used can affect substantially with the electromagnetic fields present in the surrounding areas and on some devices used for health. These include pacemakers that, by sending electrical impulses, allow to maintain a stable heart rhythm in patients suffering from bradycardia.

iPhone 12, Apple's warning and safety distance

The warning from Apple started through the update of the support documentation of its four recently released smartphones, namely iPhone 12 and its three variants, iPhone 12 Mini, Pro and Pro Max.

If among the possible interactions between magnets and smartphones there are possible temporary malfunctions and damage, even permanent, to the circuits, obviously what worries most is the possible presence of problems related to medical equipment. In the first place, mentioned in the communication of Cupertino, there would be those that regulate heart activity and that, in case of interference in the operation, could endanger the lives of users themselves.

"Medical devices such as pacemakers and implanted defibrillators - reads the documentation - may contain sensors that respond to magnets and radiofrequency waves when they are in close contact. To avoid potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance from the device (more than 6 inches away or more than 12 inches away if charging wirelessly). Consult your physician and device manufacturer for specific guidelines."

iPhone 12, why is it potentially dangerous?

While iPhone 12 is not the only smartphone from the manufacturer to take advantage of a magnet system for charging, it is arguably the first to face such safety concerns. What makes the difference with the past, as specified by Apple itself, would be a feature of the magnets used, with a power significantly higher than those used in previous models.

According to the magazine Heart Rhythm, the issue is not only related to the latest phones from Cupertino but to a much wider range of devices. As reported in a recent publication, the magazine pointed out that the increased force of attraction of magnets is present in many new devices that have implemented this particular technology, including some fitness trackers that can completely inhibit the operation of life savers once placed at close range.