AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
The Apple Watch has saved another life, according to a story shared by a California-based anesthesiologist who claims it helped him discover his own hidden heart condition that requires corrective surgery.
Apple claims that the Apple Watch is only capable of detecting atrial fibrillation — also known as aFib — a form of irregular, rapid heart rate that can cause poor blood flow. However, one Californian doctor says his Apple Watch helped detect underlying heart disease in himself.
I have the first generation of the Apple Watch to be able to do heart monitoring. I know that the primary intended use is to monitor for atrial fibrillation. As a 66 year old anesthesiologist I use my watch for many occasions.
However a number of months ago I was working out on an elliptical machine, And I experienced more shortness of breath than usual for a workout. I used the ECG function to take an ECG at that time.
I observed ST segment depression on the tracing. That resolved and returned to normal with rest. This was again documented by the tracings.
I had no history of any heart disease prior to this incident.
An appointment with my primary care physician obtained a resting ECG in her office that was normal. However upon showing the tracing with the ischemia she agreed and referred me to a cardiologist at John Muir Concord hospital .
He agreed as well with the assessment and upon having an angiogram yesterday the finding of critical diffuse coronary artery disease was found and I am now scheduled for a 5 vessel bypass and aortic valve replacement on July 13 2020.
A long story short is that without the Apple Watch tracing I would never have known I had disease in time to be able to intervene before having a potentially fatal heart attack.
The Apple Watch has clearly saved my life.
Of course, being able to interpret his ECG readings accurately played a large part in his ability to diagnose that something was wrong.
The Apple Watch has been a health-forward device since its inception, so there has been no shortage of stories where it has helped save people's lives.
In February AppleInsider reported on an Oklahoman teen got an Apple Watch alert stating he had an unusually high heart rate while being seated in class. Ultimately, his doctors diagnosed him with Supraventricular Tachycardia, and he spent eight hours in surgery and has since made a full recovery.
In June, a 92-year-old retired Nebraska farmer credited the Apple Watch Fall Detection feature with saving his life after a 21-foot fall.