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List of Apple products that should be kept at a safe distance from medically-aided users

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10 min read
Comments
  • The support document updated by Apple gives a list of all those devices that can pose any electromagnetic interference to the medical devices.
  • According to Apple, the minimum distance that is to be maintained by medically-aided while using these products is 6 inches.
  • The products containing magnets for MagSafe are mainly the ones that cause the interference.

Later this past week, Apple updated a support document with a list of products that should be kept at a safe distance from patients with certain medical devices implanted in their body. This list was provided in order to avoid any potential threats that could be caused due to these products’ magnetic interference.

When near various medical devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators, under certain conditions, magnets and electromagnetic fields of the products listed by Apple might interfere with these medical devices. This in turn can cause these medical devices to function improperly as they might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact. Hence, this could pose a risk to the person’s life who has any such device implanted in their chest.

To avoid any sort of potential interactions, Apple suggests users with implanted devices to keep the products listed below----more than 6 inches (or 12 inches if wirelessly charging) away. The company also suggests such medically-aided users to stop using their Apple products if they suspect any such interference with their medical device and consult their physician for more information.

AirPods and charging cases

AirPods and Charging Case
AirPods and Wireless Charging Case
AirPods Pro and Wireless Charging Case
AirPods Max and Smart Case

Apple Watch and accessories

Apple Watch
Apple Watch bands with magnets
Apple Watch magnetic charging accessories

HomePod

HomePod
HomePod mini

iPad and accessories

iPad
iPad mini
iPad Air
iPad Pro
iPad Smart Covers and Smart Folios
iPad Smart Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio
Magic Keyboard for iPad

iPhone and MagSafe accessories

iPhone 12 models
MagSafe accessories

Mac and accessories

Mac mini
Mac Pro
MacBook Air
MacBook Pro
iMac
Apple Pro Display XDR

Beats

Beats Flex
Beats X
PowerBeats Pro
UrBeats3

Apple also states that certain other Apple devices also contain magnets but are unlikely to interfere with medical devices.

Back in January, a study carried out by the Heart Rhythm Journal found that the iPhone 12 models as well as certain MagSafe accessories exhibit magnetic interference because of the included magnets within them. Three doctors in Michigan tested this out by holding an iPhone 12 near a patient’s chest and confirmed the interference as the pacemaker was immediately found to be deactivated.

Moreover, earlier this month, the American Heart Association conducted a study which found that 11 out of 14 electronic medical devices, namely pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, experienced interference when the iPhone 12 Pro Max was held close to them--within 1.5cm. What’s interesting to note was that the interference occurred when the medical devices were still in the manufacturer’s sealed packages.

We have always known that magnets can interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices, however, we were surprised by the strength of the magnets used in the iPhone 12 magnet technology---said lead study investigator Dr. Michael Wu, a cardiologist at Lifespan.

Cardiovascular Institute and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University said---In general, a magnet can change a pacemaker's timing or deactivate a defibrillator's lifesaving functions, and this research indicate the urgency for everyone to be aware that electronic devices with magnets can interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices.

Since the iPhone 12 lineup’s release in September, Apple has shown awareness of these issues but has stated that the devices are:

not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models.

However, in this new updated support document last Friday, Apple has changed that stance on the matter and now acknowledges these magnetic interferences caused by the iPhone 12 lineup and other products. They have also included more information on safety in the Important Safety Information sections of the user manuals for many Apple products which are available on the Apple Support website.



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