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Some Apple products have been declared to be slightly unsafe around medical devices and people have been advised that they should keep them at a safe distance to avoid any issues.

Apple has always had a list of products that have been unsafe around implanted medical devices.

However, they have recently added a large number of products to their ‘keep at a safe distance’ list including AirPods, their charging cases, and the iPhone 12 itself. 

What could happen?

If implanted medical devices such as a pacemaker or defibrillator comes into close contact with some Apple products, under certain conditions, there could be magnetic interference.

A lot of implanted medical devices contain sensors that can react to magnets or radios when in close contact with them.

All the items on Apple’s ‘keep at a safe distance’ list contain some form of magnet meaning if they get too close to certain medical equipment they could create some interference. 

X-ray of a Pacemaker inside someone's chest
X-ray of a Pacemaker inside someone’s chest

Why is interference bad?

Although if interference does accrue it should not cause any long-term issues for the person or the device, it could create temporary issues.

The majority of implanted medical devices have multiple different settings, one of which is ‘magnetic mode’.

The magnetic mode should only be activated by medical professionals during procedures such as MRI scans, however magnetic interference from certain Apple products could cause this shift of settings to happen at any time until the device is far enough away from the interference. 

Most times this will not cause any serious after-effects however there is always a possibility of them and therefore it’s not worth the risk.

How do I ensure it doesn’t happen?

It has been recommended by Apple and other experts that you should always keep your device 6inchs away from any implanted medical device at all times. 

If you are charging your device wirelessly then it is recommended you keep it even further away, roughly 12inchs, as this has a bigger magnetic field and therefore needs more distance to be safe. 

Apple products that could create interference
Apple products that could create interference

To find out what Apple products you do need to keep away from medical devices head to their website at https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT211900

For more information or advice please give WiseGuys a call on 0808 123 2820.