FDA Warns of Magnet Risks for Implanted Devices

May 17, 2021

The FDA has cautioned patients that some newer electronic devices may set off an implanted medical device’s “magnet mode” and advised them to take precautions when carrying and handling electronics.

Certain cell phones, smart watches and other new electronics contain strong magnets that could trip an implanted device’s “magnet mode,” a safety feature that allows the devices to be used during certain medical procedures, such as magnetic resonance imaging scans. The mode is normally activated by placing a high field strength magnet near the implanted device.

To avoid this, patients should keep consumer electronics six inches away from their implanted devices and avoid carrying electronics in a pocket over the implant, the agency said.

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