Are You Carrying Gadgets That Interfere With Pacemakers or Defibrillators?

Magnetic wireless charging — a convenient feature of many smartphones and tech accessories — can interfere with pacemakers and defibrillators when people keep these devices too close to their chest, a new study has confirmed.

Warnings that some gadgets can stop defibrillators and pacemakers from working properly are older than the iPhone. A study published back in 2007, for example, found that iPods created an electromagnetic field that caused pacemaker malfunctions. For years, the American Heart Association (AHA) has advised people with implanted cardiac devices against keeping certain music players, Bluetooth headphones, and cellphones too close to their heart.

Just last year, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association detailed how Apple’s MagSafe wireless charging technology used with the iPhone 12 Pro Max might stop implanted heart devices from working correctly.

Now a study published March 1 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology suggests that this problem persists today in the iPhone 12 Pro Max as well as the Microsoft Surface Pen, the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, and the Apple AirPods Pro charging case.