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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

11 mins ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: US National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.