There have been warnings about serious vulnerability issues – including by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – associated with medical devices and implants that use Bluetooth, Internet of Things (IoT), and wireless technology, Additional warnings were recently issued in a medical journal.
From Medical Xpress:
In a recent paper in the journal Heart Rhythm, doctors describe how they turned off the potentially life-saving cardiac defibrillator function of an implanted Medtronic device simply by holding an iPhone 12 near it. The authors had nothing personal against Medtronic, or for that matter, against the new iPhone. The main reason they singled the phone out here was because it is compatible with some of the most advanced new technologies available for various magnetic-based communications and charging.
This technology, known as MagSafe, is basically harmless. It typically integrates charger, magnetometer and NFC reader into a compact package that depends on fairly decent alignment for efficient operation. The problem, at least for Medtronic, is the magnets that facilitate the positioning and docking. The iPhone 12, for example, has a ring of them around its central charging coil. In a nutshell, permanent magnets are never going away, they are simply a perfect solution to many gadget problems. Applications including securing cochlear implant links, joining cables and fastening wristbands now make extensive of use of strong, miniature magnets.
Unless companies like Medtronic get on board and move to smarter device configuration options, they will continue to butt heads with consumer devices—and they will continue to lose. Smarter options don’t have to be expensive; just look at your cheap IR TV remote or ultrasonic receiver-emitter pair. These devices simply work. They use an uncomplicated code to make sure there is no interference from all the other ambient sources that are invariably present. A couple of secure ultrasonic bits superimposed on your basic 40 khz carrier waves is all that is really needed. It is likely that companies like Medtronic are working on solutions like this; for example, a Medtronic programming head of some sort can be had on Ebay at the moment for a mere $34.99.