A 22 years old Reddit user, Merrick63 discovered his congenital heart condition, all thanks to his Apple Watch Series 4. With irregular heart rhythm detection enabled, the watch sent an alert to the user of “signs of irregular rhythm suggestive of atrial fibrillation”.
Atrial fibrillation, commonly known as AFib, is when an individual’s heart does not beat in the regular rhythms. If not treated, this condition can lead to further medical complications like heart attack, blood clots, and more.
As per Merrick63’s post, he took an ECG after receiving the alert which confirmed the initial suggestion of AFib by the smartwatch. He further shared his medical data at the the ER and has scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist.
My series 4 watch helped me discover that I may have a congenital heart condition. ER confirmed AFIB and I will be seeing a cardiologist later this week. I don’t know if I would’ve noticed otherwise… from AppleWatch
ECG and Health Features
As impressive as the detection of AFib is, the ability to monitor and discover one’s health-related conditions anywhere, at any time, is even more important. The thankful 22 years old writes that “I don’t know if would have noticed it otherwise” which makes the Apple Watch so much more valuable than any other smartwatch in the market. Sending an alert to a young user, who is not in the at-risk demographic, and suggesting to seek medical help is another life-saving milestone for the smart device.
This is exactly what Apple aimed to achieve for its smartwatch which is used as a health monitoring device. The electrical heart sensor on Apple Watch Series 4 and later allows users to record electrocardiogram via the ECG app at their convenience. The description of the app reads:
“The ECG app records an electrocardiogram which represents the electrical pulses that make your heart beat. The ECG app checks these pulses to get your heart rate and see if the upper and lower chambers of your heart are in rhythm. If they’re out of rhythm, that could be AFib”.
Having said that, users of the older Apple Watch models can also check their heartbeat rhythm via the Heart rate app on the device.
Next-Gen Apple Watch
Apple is expected to release Series 6 of its smartwatch this year. Rumors and reports detail that the next-generation Apple Watch will be equipped with more advanced health features like native sleep tracking, and pulse oximeter to monitor blood-oxygen level.
It is not the first report of Apple Watch playing an instrumental role in saving a life. In May, an article in the European Heart Journal shared the life-saving story of coronary ischemia detected by the Apple Watch of an 80-year old woman, which was missed by the hospital equipment. Currently, the ECG app is available in selected regions. Read more about the app here.