Jun 5, 2021 - Health

Study: iPhone 12's charging system may interfere with cardiac implants

iPhone 12s displayed in Shanghai, China, in April 2020.
iPhone 12s displayed in Shanghai, China, in April 2020. Photo: Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association this week found that the iPhone 12's magnetic charging system may interfere with cardiac implantable electronic devices.

Why it matters: Authors of the study said the phone's Magsafe charging technology can produce a magnetic field strong enough to potentially "inhibit lifesaving therapy" if placed directly on the skin over one of the implantable devices.

How it works: The team of researchers studied the charger's affects on 11 different types of CIEDs and found it was able to trigger "magnet reversion mode" in the devices.

  • In pacemakers, this means the device is pacing at an asynchronous rate while the mode in implantable cardioverter defibrillators may suspend antitachycardia therapies, which are needed to interrupt a tachyarrhythmia episode.

The big picture: Another study in the Heart Rhythm Journal in January also concluded the charging system can affect CIEDs.

  • Apple has recommended that users with CIEDs keep their devices away from their iPhone 12s and charging accessories by "more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging."
Go deeper