The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising the public that some newer consumer electronic devices such as certain cell phones and smart watches, have high field strength magnets capable of placing medical devices in their “magnet mode.” These magnets can affect normal operations of the medical device until the magnetic field is moved.

Many medical devices are designed with a “magnet mode” to allow for safe operation during certain medical procedures, such as undergoing an MRI scan. These safety features are typically initiated with the use of a high field strength magnet that is placed near the implanted device placing it into a “magnet mode.”

The FDA advises patients with implanted medical devices to consider taking precautions, including:

° Keeping consumer electronics, such as certain cell phones and smart watches, six inches away from implanted medical devices.

° Refraining from carrying consumer electronics in a pocket over the medical device.

° Talking to your health care provider if you have questions regarding magnets in consumer electronics and implanted medical devices.

The FDA encourages health care professionals and patients to report adverse events or safety problems to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

In a January 25, 2021 support document, Apple noted that the magnets inside the iPhone 12 line-up and MagSafe accessories could interfere with medical devices. 

The smartphone contains magnets as well as components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. All MagSafe accessories also contain magnets—and the MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger contain radios. Apple says that these magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices. 

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,” according to the support document. “Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact.”

To avoid any potential interactions with these devices, keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories a safe distance away from your device (more than six inches apart or more than 12 inches apart if wirelessly charging). 

Apple says to consult with your physician and your device manufacturer for specific guidelines. The tech giant adds that you should consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device and whether you need to maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and iPhone or any MagSafe accessories.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today