Very interesting article

<https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-iphone12-implantable-defibrillator.html>

Sounds scary to me.  The author didn't seem to be very concerned about it (or know much about pacemakers in general).


8 Comments

MagSafe technology

by Gemita - 2021-01-11 06:28:38

What a pity, I was thinking of upgrading my iPhone 7+ to the latest model.  Could this advanced new technology potentially affect all Medtronic pacemakers, or are we only talking about a pacemaker with a defibrillator being affected ?  If all pacemakers might be affected in some way, what is the solution if I want to stay with Apple since I will have to stay with my 2018 Medtronic pacemaker until the battery runs out.

The link mentions, "Smarter device configuration options were needed"?  I wonder if my present Medtronic pacemaker has configuration options that can be adjusted to help keep me safe if it could be affected by the new iPhone 12 and whether my clinic will be able to carry out a range of tests to confirm its safety.  So what is the way forward AgentX86?  Can you give me your opinion please?

Mind you AgentX86, reading the link again and the comment "For example, with permanent chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) you might get by with a single atrial lead . . ." doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the article as a whole, does it?  Why would anyone think a single atrial lead in chronic AF be of any benefit?  

Just found a recent PM Club post on this:
https://www.pacemakerclub.com/message/40157/iphone-12-precautions

iPhone 12

by Tracey_E - 2021-01-11 11:11:51

If anyone gets a 12 and doesn't feel comfortable keeping it, you can send it to me! Sounds like it only affected defib, and only under certain circumstances. It also sounded to me like the author had just enough pacer knowledge to toss around some big words but not really understand so I'd take it with a grain of salt. Don't store a 12 in the pocket over your defib, easy fix if you're worried. 

iPhone 12

by AgentX86 - 2021-01-11 15:44:57

Tracy, I agree it's easy enough to get around but the takeaway i got was that Medtronic is a lousy job of security. Certainly the author didn't know much about pacemakers. Do single lead PMs even exist? His knowledge of modes leaves a LOT to desired.

 

Single-lead PMs - most definitely yes.

by crustyg - 2021-01-11 18:03:09

Supposedly one of the questions that DANPACE was supposed to answer was 'should all new PM patients be given two leads to start with, or is is safe/sensible to start with single-leads for those with normal AV-conduction?'

Sadly the study was ruined for this aspect as many of the EP-docs who contributed decided to stick two leads in from the start, because the cost, inconvenience and difficulty of adding a second lead a few years later was too much trouble. UK NICE then did a miserable job of reviewing the data and changed *their* guidance from single-lead + single-lead-PM to dual from the start.

Ditto crustyg - Single lead pacemakers most definitely exist

by Gemita - 2021-01-11 19:22:43

Yes single lead pacemakers most definitely exist - my husband had a single lead pacemaker implanted in 2018 because his team believed he was in permanent AF at the time and only needed one lead into his right ventricle.  I believe their decision was a bad one.  He was not in permanent AF at the time but he certainly is now   

iphone

by cyborg_manifested - 2021-01-11 20:48:03

Hm. I just got an ICD/PM. I just got an iphone 12. I also have a single lead, because I don't really actually need the pacing capabilities, just the defibrillator capabilities. 

Really enjoying the iphone 12 though! Isn't the issue the same as with most magnetic things - just keep it at least 6 inches away from the device? Or is this saying that the impact is present even when the usual distance precautions are taken? 

In this post, CyborgMike does a test run:  https://www.pacemakerclub.com/message/40157/iphone-12-precautions

Can you believe it? Should you?

by Gotrhythm - 2021-01-12 15:58:43

I don't begin to have the scientific or professional background which would enable me to evaluate the content of this article. But I do know something about judging reliability.

The first red flag was the article's vagueness. Who were these doctors who published the article that was cited? There wasn't one single direct quote, nor even a report of exactly what tests they performed on which Medtronic models to get them to malfunction. Nor was there any indication of what the article writer's qualifications or background might be.

If American politics has taught us anything, it's that the credibility of any utterance depends upon who's speaking. But have you ever been physhed? The anonimity of the Internet means absolutely anyone can say absolutley anything for whatever purpose--and get away with it.

The Internet takes the whole idea of caveat emptor--let the buyer beware--to a whole new level. It's no longer what you buy, it's what you buy-in to.

Reminding ourselves to slow down, to think logically and critically, to demand evidence when there are claims that this or that problem exists, has never been more crucial to our well-being.

This article made all kinds of statements about Medtronic and iPhones, but gave not one bit of evidence that the naive reader (someone like me) could independently check. Did you notice that no only were the "doctors" not named, the writer didn't even say which issue of the Heart Rhythm Journal, only that it was "recent."

I don't know if this article was right or wrong in its statements about iPhone 12. I don't even know if it's possible for such a problem to exist. I do know that until I see corroborating evidence from a source of proven veracity, I won't wast any energy on fear. I will take everything said with a heaping tablespoon of salt.

Can you believe it?

by AgentX86 - 2021-01-12 18:03:39

You raise excellent points.  This one is so specific and any impact would be to such a small universe of people that it's at least somewhat more likely (my excuse and I'm sticking with it).

However, being called out on it (again, for very good reason) I dug a little further. It doesn't seem to be a scam, if so it's a really well done one.  ;-)

<https://www.dicardiology.com/content/iphone-12-may-cause-implantable-cardioverter-defibrillators-malfunction>

And from the horse's mouth...

<https://www.heartrhythmjournal.com/article/S1547-5271(20)31227-3/fulltext>

IMO, this makes it even the more scary.  I don't think it's just ICDs, either.

 

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