SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A cardiologist at St. Joseph’s Health warns that magnets in some newer electronics may interfere with heart implants.
The magnets, found in devices like the Apple AirPod Pro charging case, the second generation Apple Pencil, and the Microsoft Surface Pen, could interfere with how cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED) function. These devices include pacemakers, cardiac loop recorders, and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
St. Joseph’s also says that these issues aren’t new, stating that cell phones have also always been a concern.
“For years we have advised patients with a CIED to hold the cell phone at the opposite ear from your device, or at least six inches away,” says Dr. Ali Al-Mudamgha, an electrophysiologist at St. Joseph’s. “The stronger magnet charge and magnet smart technology found in devices like the Apple Pencil has the potential to interfere with the device performance.”
According to researchers, an iPhone 12 Pro Max and the second generation Apple Pencil should be kept around 1 cm away from your CIED. The Microsoft Surface Pen and the Apple AirPods Pro charging case should be kept at least 2 cm away.
Dr. Al-Mudamgha says that you don’t need to have unnecessary fear, though. CEIDs have built-in systems to regain functionality once the magnet is removed. You may also hear an audible alert warning that something is interfering with the device.