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Concern raised over iPhone 12 potentially disabling implanted heart devices

Posted at 4:43 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 08:23:51-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Medical research has shown the new iPhone 12 could disable implanted heart devices, like the pacemaker or defibrillator.

Findings from the Heart Rhythm Society reported internal magnets are so strong that the phone could interfere with the heart devices.

The nonprofit focuses on cardiac rhythm disorders.

In its report, it says, "We hereby report an important public health issue concerning the newer-generation iPhone 12, which potentially can inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient, particularly when the phone is carried in an upper chest pocket."

An Apple spokesperson sent a statement in response to the concerns.

“Though all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they're not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models," it read.

Apple advises people to keep the phone six inches away from an implanted heart device and talk with their doctor.

​Cardiologist Sajaya Gupta from Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute said he is not aware of any issues of interference, but said it's a warning for people who rely on the implanted heart devices to be vigilant.

"It's not like we would say to them don't buy an iPhone 12. We would say, you can still use it just don't put it right over the device, which is what we've been telling them for years," Dr. Gupta said.