smartphones may affect implanted pacemakers

Current smartphones may affect the function of implanted pacemakers/defibrillators.
The hypothesis: Compared to previous devices, newer smartphones have more centrally and circularly installed magnets. These allow fast wireless charging of the smartphone. This could impair the functioning of pacemakers and defibrillators more than before.
The researchers found influences of the smartphone in eleven percent of the patients, i.e. in eight persons. Devices from three manufacturers (Abbott, Biotronik, Boston-Scientific) were affected. Most of the influences occurred with NFC use (6 of 8 affected devices).

Loss of intracardiac ECG occurred in 1 of 8 devices. Interfering signals were detected in 6 of 8 devices, misinterpretation of the EGM was evident in 2 of 8 devices, and also 2 of 8 devices temporarily lost telemetry connection to the programmer.

The data collected in this study confirm that, according to the recommendation, the smartphone should not be worn or used directly above the implanted pacemakers or defibrillators and that a safe distance should be kept.

Author(s) Source
Fräbel C, Chasan R, Schmitt J, Hamm CW, Mathew S
Clinical Research in Cardiology DOI: 10.1007/s00392-021-01933-9
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