The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that cell phones and smart watches that include high field strength magnets can interfere with implanted devices, such as pacemakers, by causing the device to switch into "magnet mode". Normal operation of the device is suspended while in magnet mode. This mode is intended to allow patients with implanted devices to undergo medical procedures, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The device returns to normal function when the high field strength magnet is no longer near the device. While there have been no reported adverse events involving this effect, the FDA recommends that consumer devices with high field strength magnets should be kept more than six inches away from the implanted device. For example, a cell phone should not be kept in a pocket over an implanted pacemaker.
- Published: 13 May 2021 13 May 2021
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