Digital devices can actually control medical tools and the effects can be life-threatening. According to a new study,  iPhone 12 can interfere with a pacemaker if the phone is placed close to a patient’s heart.

One could not be cautious enough when it comes to technology. With the ongoing scientific advancements and experiments, we have to reorganise ourselves. In a world, where virtual heart tools implantation is seemingly possible; almost anything is possible. According to a recent study, cardiologists suggests that iPhone 12 can interfere with pacemakers if it is placed close to a patient’s heart. 

A pacemaker is a battery-operated device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate or to stimulate the lower chambers of the heart. The performance of pacemakers can be halted when they come in close contact with strong electromagnetic fields such as metal detectors, electrical generators, and high tension wires.

How iPhone 12 can affect the functioning of a pacemaker?

Apple’s new MagSafe charging technology has a magnetic array on the back of the device, majorly designed to enable wireless charging. While pacemakers or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) have a switch that can be deactivated with an external magnetic field. When an iPhone 12 is brought close to the ICD over the left chest area, immediate suspension of pacemaker therapies occur.

This medical research related to the functioning of iPhone12 and pacemakers research is done by the researchers of Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute. the new study also suggested that iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, and that’sthe major reason they disturb the operation of pacemakers noticeably.

The researchers have also pointed out the fact that smartphones built without magnetic arrays found in the latest iPhone have a low risk of interfering with ICDs.

Other devices that hinders ICDs functions:

The researchers found that devices like fitness trackers and vape pens have also been found to deactivate pacemakers. These devices also emit magnetic fields if they come into close contact with ICDs.

What can be done to avoid iPhone 12 directing pacemakers?

  1. Distancing from such gadgets: It’s important to keep distance from gadgets that can induce high magnetic fields. Cell phones should be kept up to 6 inches away from a pacemaker. If not necessary, the usage of music players should be avoided and if one has to use earbuds or headphones they must not be kept any lower than the location of the ear.

2. Store them separately: Do not keep cell phones in the upper pockets of shirts or jackets. Avoid placing it next to the implant.

3. Devices should be kept away while sleeping: This is a general guideline to reduce the effect of cell phone waves. One should not keep the phone under a pillow rather keep it at a distance from the bed.

Until pacemaker designers redesign them to avoid such complexities, patients should take precautions to prevent gadgets from ruining their heart health.