Apple Watch’s ECG Detects Signs of Coronary Ischemia in 80-year-old Woman

Ever since the addition of the ECG app to Apple Watch Series 4 and later, many stories have come to light about how it has contributed to saving people’s lives. A recent article from the European heart Journal shared the story of an 80-year-old woman in Mainz, Germany, whose Apple Watch managed to detect evidence of a heart condition that was missed by a hospital ECG.

The woman arrived at the Medical Centre in Mainz and complained of irregular heart rhythm, chest pain, and lightheadedness. The doctors performed a 12-channel ECG, which revealed no evidence of Coronary Ischemia.

How did Apple Watch’s ECG help?

The patient then proceeded to show her doctors the result of an ECG she took from her Apple Watch. It included “tracings with marked ST-segment depression.” Doctors were able to analyze evidence of Myocardial Ischemia in these results. She was then transferred to the catheterization lab which showed “left main stem stenosis and a left anterior descending/diagonal bifurcation lesion.”

Myocardial Ischemia is a heart condition that reduces blood flow to a patient’s heart, resulting in oxygen deficiency in the heart muscles. The reduction in blood flow is usually caused due to partially or completely clogged arteries due to buildup of cholesterol and fat deposits called plaques.

Apple Watch 2

The woman was treated with “coronary artery stenting” and left the hospital the next day. The article concludes that Apple Watch can be used to detect Myocardial Ischemia as:

“The development of smart technologies paves the way for new diagnostic possibilities. In the case of the Apple Watch, after the mobile application is installed, the records an ECG when a finger is placed on the watch’s digital crown. A 30-s tracing is stored in a PDF file that can be retrieved from the application.

Thus, the Apple Watch may be used not only to detect atrial fibrillation or atrioventricular-conduction disturbances but also to detect myocardial ischemia. An apple a day may keep myocardial infarction away.”

Apple has been working on fitness and health apps for a long time now. In Apple’s Q2 earnings highlight shared last week, the company shared that it will continue providing the best features to its customers including health-related apps.

Read the full report from the European Health Journal here.

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