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Apple issues potential health risk to iPhone users with pacemakers

Poppy Bilderbeck

Published 
| Last updated 

Apple issues potential health risk to iPhone users with pacemakers

Apple has issued an important update warning to customers of certain devices which could pose a health risk if they have a pacemaker fitted.

If you've undergone heart surgery and had a pacemaker put into your chest to regulate your heartbeat using electrical pulses, you may want to think twice before upgrading your iPhone.

With 'thousands of pacemakers fitted each year' by the NHS in the UK and between half-a-million and three million Americans fitted with the device - as per the National Library of Medicine - Apple has offered new guidance on how to safely use a whole host of its products without them potentially impacting your pacemaker and subsequently posing a risk to your health.

In a report issued earlier this year on 4 January, Apple explains 'many consumer-electronic devices contain magnets or components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields' which can interfere with medical devices.

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Apple has issued an important update for iPhone users who have a pacemaker fitted. Credit: Pexels/ EmShuvo
Apple has issued an important update for iPhone users who have a pacemaker fitted. Credit: Pexels/ EmShuvo

The report reads: "Under certain conditions, magnets and electromagnetic fields might interfere with medical devices. For example, implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact."

In order to 'avoid any potential interactions' between the medical device and your iPhone, Apple advises keeping your product 'a safe distance away' of 'more than six inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging'.

"Consult with your physician and your medical-device manufacturer for specific guidelines. If you suspect that your Apple product is interfering with your medical device, stop using your Apple product and consult your physician and your medical-device manufacturer," the report continues.

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But which Apple products can affect your pacemaker?

Apple lists all of its products you need to be cautious of if you have a medical device such as a pacemaker fitted, including not just the iPhone 12, 13 and 14 but also AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and all of their charging cases and the Max's Smart Case too.

Apple's AirPods are also listed in the warning. Credit: subarasikiai/Pixabay
Apple's AirPods are also listed in the warning. Credit: subarasikiai/Pixabay

Other items include: "Apple Watch, Apple Watch bands with magnets, Apple Watch magnetic charging accessories, HomePod, HomePod Mini, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro, iPad Smart Covers and Smart Folios, iPad Smart Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio, Magic Keyboard Folio and Magic Keyboard for iPad.

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MagSafe accessories could also pose a risk if not used with caution, as well as the Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac and Apple Pro Display XDR.

Apple has also listed items by Beats - which it acquired in 2014 - including Beats Flex, Beats Studio Buds, BeatsX, Powerbeats Pro and UrBeats3.

Apple concludes: "Certain other Apple products contain magnets that are unlikely to interfere with medical devices" - which you can find out more about in it's user guides for Apple products.

Featured Image Credit: Yalcin Sonat / Alamy Stock Photo / The Bold Bureau / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Apple, Health, iPhone, Technology, News

Poppy Bilderbeck
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