Magnets in Cell Phones and Smart Watches May Affect Implanted Devices

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FDA - Center for Devices and Radiological Health

Magnets in Cell Phones and Smart Watches May Affect Pacemakers and Other Implanted Medical Devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising patients and caregivers to keep any consumer electronic devices, such as cell phones and smart watches, at least six inches away from implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators.

The FDA is aware that some newer consumer electronic devices including cell phones and smart watches have magnets that may cause some implanted medical devices to go into a magnetic safe mode and temporarily suspend normal operation. The magnetic safe mode allows for safe operation during certain medical procedures such as undergoing an MRI scan.

The FDA believes the risk to patients is low, and the agency is not aware of any adverse events associated with this issue at this time. The FDA continues to monitor all relevant scientific information (including adverse event reports) about this ongoing issue and will continue to inform the public and health care providers, if the need arises based on risk analysis.

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If you have questions about magnets in cell phones, smart watches, and implanted medical devices, contact the Division of Industry and Consumer Education.