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News From the Food and Drug Administration
June 15, 2021

Do Magnets in Consumer Electronics Disable Implanted Medical Devices?

JAMA. 2021;325(23):2336. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.8898

After reviewing published articles and conducting its own testing, FDA officials said it doesn’t appear that consumer electronics such as cellphones or smartwatches with high–field strength magnets pose serious risks for people with implanted medical devices.

“We believe the risk to patients is low and the agency is not aware of any adverse events associated with this issue at this time,” Jeff Shuren, MD, JD, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement. Yet as more products containing strong magnets are expected to come on the market, the agency offered precautions for consumers who have implanted devices including pacemakers and implantable defibrillators.

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