Magnets used in mobile devices such as cell phones and smartwatches can damage pacemakers and affect other implantable devices, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.
The FDA recommends keeping mobile phones and smartwatches at least 6 inches away from pacemakers, defibrillators, and other potentially life-saving mechanisms to avoid potential interactions.
According to the agency, magnets can accidentally put a medical device in “magnet mode” and stop functioning. The device should be in magnet mode during a medical procedure such as an MRI scan, but in other scenarios it can be detrimental.
According to the FDA, interactions between magnets and medical devices are rare. Still, the agency warns consumers with implants not to carry their mobile devices in nearby pockets.
In a statement, the FDA said, “When approaching a high-strength magnet, a device in magnetic safe mode may stop working or change the behavior of the device. The event may not be detected. ”
Authorities said the risk to patients was low and they were unaware of the harmful incidents associated with the potential impact of gadgets on medical devices.
Apple warned consumers in March that iPhone magnets could interfere with medical devices.
“Medical devices such as implantable pacemakers and defibrillators may contain sensors that respond to magnets and radios when in close contact,” the company’s website states. “Keep your iPhone and MagSafe accessories at a safe distance from your device to avoid potential interactions with these devices (6 inches / 15 cm or more, or 12 inches / 30 for wireless charging). Keep at least cm away). For specific guidelines, doctors and device manufacturers. “
Do you have a pacemaker?Keep your mobile phone at least 6 inches away
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