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Apple Watch helps diagnose something it wasn't designed to find

Apple Watch

A Cleveland man has credited the Apple Watch with saving his life, after a series of different alerts drove him to get medical attention.

In October, Ken Counihan was informed by his Apple Watch that his breathing was elevated. The wearable device advised that he had gone from an average of 14 breaths per minute to around 18 per minute.

"My wife had me make a phone call to my son and he suggested I go to the outpatient care, get it looked at, which is what I did," Counihan told News 5 Cleveland. "And they did just an X-ray. And they gave me some meds for bronchitis at the time."

While he thought that was all, the Apple Watch raised a connected alert, which prompted further testing.

"My blood oxygen - which is normally mid-90s, which is what it is supposed to be, kind of 95 and up - started to get out to the mid-80s," he explained. The late-night alert didn't worry the man, but under the urging of his concerned family, he went to ER once again.

Using figures he had gathered from the Apple Watch, doctors ordered more scans and discovered blood clots in his lungs. His doctor advised that, had he not sought help, approximately 60% of people at that stage may not have survived the night.

Now on blood thinners, Counihan is happy and thankful that the Apple Watch pointed him in the right direction. While the Apple Watch cannot directly diagnose medical issues, it seems the various alerts and metrics it compiles about a user was enough to point doctors in the right direction.

"I've got friends that have gone out and bought an Apple Watch as a result," he told the report. "I just had dinner with a friend the other night and he's looking to get an Apple Watch now as well. It saved my life. It's amazing."

The Apple Watch has repeatedly been cited as a catalyst for life-saving assistance since its release. Earlier in March, it helped a British author discover an undiagnosed heart problem, while the Crash Detection feature helped medics reach a vehicle involved in a car crash in Germany, after it had been thrown 60 feet below the road.