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Magnetic field interactions between current consumer electronics and cardiac implantable electronic devices



Electronic products, including the iPhone 12, Apple Watch Series 6, and 2nd Generation AirPods, contain magnets to facilitate wireless charging. Permanent magnets may affect CIED magnet mode features by causing pacemakers to pace asynchronously and defibrillators to suspend arrhythmia detection. This study determined if CIEDs are affected by static magnetic fields from commonly used portable electronics (PE) at any distance and intends to reinforce FDA recommendations concerning consumer PE which contain permanent magnets.


The maximum magnet field measurement was evaluated by a Gauss meter. The interaction between PE and CIEDs from Boston Scientific and Medtronic were tested ex vivo using a body torso model. The CIED was placed in physiologic saline, and the PE was placed at the surface and at increasing distances of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 cm. Interactions were recorded by assessment of magnet mode status.


The iPhone 12 had almost three times the static magnetic field measured at the surface as the iPhone XR, but magnetic field strength decreased dramatically with increasing distance. At the surface of the model, PE triggered magnet mode in all CIEDs. The maximum interaction distance for all combinations of CIEDs and Apple products was 1.5 cm.


The iPhone 12 produces a stronger static magnetic field than previous iPhone models. Magnets in PE tested will not interact with CIEDs when they are 15 cm from the implanted device. Since no interaction was observed beyond 1.5 cm, it is unlikely that magnet mode activation will occur during most daily activities.

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This study was funded by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Medtronic, Inc., and Boston Scientific, Inc.

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Correspondence to Kathryn Xu.

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Xu, K., Sengupta, J., Casey, S. et al. Magnetic field interactions between current consumer electronics and cardiac implantable electronic devices. J Interv Card Electrophysiol 65, 133–139 (2022).

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