One Model iPhone Can Give Users A Heart Attack - FDA Warns

By Dave Basner

August 27, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

When cell phones first came out, there was some resistance to using them because people believed that they might cause brain tumors. That has been proven to not to be the case, however a recent study shows one phone in particular might actually cause heart attacks - and the issue is so serious that the Food & Drug Administration has put out a warning for users of the device.

In a press release this week, the FDA revealed the results of a study which examined the high-powered magnets used in all models of the iPhone 12 as well as the Apple Watch 6. The research showed that the magnets can cause interference with implanted medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators.

The agency stated, "Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising the public that some newer consumer electronic devices, such as certain cell phones and smartwatches, 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."

In their testing, the FDA placed the different iPhone 12 models and the Apple Watch 6 near an implantable cardiac device at different distances, and when the phone was within six inches from the implant, they confirmed it could trigger the medical device to malfunction.

The FDA explained that they conducted the research because "ensuring the safety of our nation's medical devices is a cornerstone of our consumer protection mission, especially as technology continues to advance." They added that while the risk of a phone interacting with a medical device is likely low, the number of electronics with strong magnets is expected to increase over time so anyone with implanted medical devices should speak with their doctor to fully understand the risk of magnetic devices, and the proper way to safely use a phone with magnets.

They plan to continue to monitor and research the effects of certain electronics on implanted medical devices. Meanwhile, Apple previously warned iPhone 12 users to keep the device away from their pacemaker.

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