The Apple Watch Series 3 is rebooting when ICU medical equipment is nearby. Apple has recognized the potential for medical device interference, but has yet to comment on this specific problem.
Apple Watch Series 3 is rebooting around medical equipment
Although the original intention with the Apple Watch was to provide a luxury high-end piece of jewelry that added functionality and convenience, it turned out that that marketing strategy didn’t pay off in the way the company had intended. Apple has recently switched their targeted audience to those who want a sophisticated medical device, adding in functionality to support detailed medical readouts and building the perfect workout companion. It appears, however, as if the Apple Watch Series 3 is rebooting when users are near ICU medical equipment – an unfortunate, but expected inconvenience.
The fact that the Apple Watch Series 3 is rebooting around medical equipment has yet to be commented on by Apple, and there’s no word on whether a fix is in progress. The device apparently reboots every 60 to 90 minutes when near an ICU. A dedicated forum thread on the Apple official forums has documented this issue time and time again, and the problems date back to October.
Apple has explained the potential for medical device interference, an excerpt of which is included below.
“Apple Watch contains components and radios that emit electromagnetic fields. Apple Watch, some of the bands, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Case, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock contain magnets. These electromagnetic fields and magnets may interfere with pacemakers, defibrillators, or other medical devices. Maintain a safe distance of separation between your medical device and Apple Watch, its bands, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Case, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock. Consult your physician and medical device manufacturer for information specific to your medical device. Stop using Apple Watch, its bands, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Case, and the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock if you suspect they are interfering with your pacemaker, defibrillator, or any other medical device.”
A Potential Fix
As mentioned above, there currently isn’t any word on whether the issue of the Apple Watch Series 3 will ever be fixed. Apple has acknowledged the potential for medical interference in a section of their documentation, and the only real way to fix the issue is to put your device in airplane mode. The Apple Watch Series 3 is rebooting on both cellular and non-LTE devices, which seems to suggest that the problem is with any sort of signal rather than specifically WiFi or Cellular data transmission.
The fact that the Apple Watch Series 3 is rebooting near ICUs will only affect a small portion of the user base, but for doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff that would like to take advantage of the device’s convenience, the medical device interference makes it impossible to use at work.