Apple Watch helps to save another life, user diagnosed with tachycardia

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited March 7
The Apple Watch has been credited with saving another life due to its heart beat monitoring functionality, with the wearable device detecting an unusual pulse rate and a suggestion to go to hospital, ultimately leading to a diagnosis of tachycardia.

Apple Watch Series 4 ECG


Posting to Twitter, host of radio show Science Friday Ira Flatow revealed his brother was "saved by his Apple Watch," alerting him to a higher than normal heart beat. According to the personality, the heart beat was in excess of 200 beats per minute, prompting the sibling to take a trip to the hospital.

Doctors issued a diagnosis of tachycardia, a condition when the heart rate exceeds the normal resting rate, which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. While such rates could be normal, as in cases where the person regularly exercises, it can also be deemed abnormal for a variety of problems, including electrical issues within the heart itself.

My brother was saved by his Apple Watch. After he felt a rapid heart beat >200 bpm, his watch told him to "go to the hospital." He did and his tachycardia was diagnosed.

-- Ira Flatow (@iraflatow)


Flatow also posted a comment from the brother on the accuracy of the Apple Watch, noting "during the 15 hours I was at the hospital hooked up to the monitors, my monitors never disagreed with my Watch's reading. I checked many times."

The introduction of functions in watchOS 5.1.2, including enabling the electrocardiogram function in the Apple Watch Series 4 in the United States and the Irregular Rhythm Notification for all models, has been credited with saving numerous lives since the start of the year.

In January, a New Hampshire man credited the Apple Watch Series 4's ECG function for spotting atrial fibrillation. In February, a North Carolina native was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia following a similar Apple Watch notification, while another in Washington learned his atrial fibrillation had returned via the device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 430member
    The heart rate function does not require the lead 1 ECG function- the older watches can detect the pule with the LED on the back of the watch.
    GeorgeBMaclolliverforgot username
  • Reply 2 of 24
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,989member
    I am sure many more lifes saved by Apple watch but not reported as the case.
    AppleExposedGeorgeBMaclolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    This is just the beginning of a revolution in personal health monitoring. I think Samsung is introducing a blood pressure monitoring function. Glucose monitoring will be next. Think of an Apple watch with all those health monitoring functions built-in along with the software to analyze and report findings to your doctor in real time.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobracaladanian
  • Reply 4 of 24
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,400unconfirmed, member
    wood1208 said:
    I am sure many more lifes saved by Apple watch but not reported as the case.

    Months back I mentioned how these cases will be so common they won't be news anymore.
    GeorgeBMaclolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    silvergold84silvergold84 Posts: 70unconfirmed, member
    "during the 15 hours I was at the hospital hooked up to the monitors, my monitors never disagreed with my Watch's reading. I checked many times." It’s not a game. It’s not a function that work only on paper. It’s work for real . It report problems about the heart. It give advice to breath deeply when sensors and processor think is time to do it. Apple Watch is innovation . Pure innovation. Thanks Apple. 
    AppleExposedStrangeDaysGeorgeBMaclolliverwatto_cobradoctwelve
  • Reply 6 of 24
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,509member

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    edited March 7
  • Reply 7 of 24
    metrixmetrix Posts: 251member

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    I am no doctor but I think the extreme fit have lower heart rates at rest than average (below 70bpm). Suffering from heart problems myself I have at a recorded instance where Apple Watch informed me of high heart rate while at rest, simply forgot to take my medication. I also found the Apple watch heart rate to read the exact same values as what was found in the hospital. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,400unconfirmed, member
    metrix said:

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    I am no doctor but I think the extreme fit have lower heart rates at rest than average (below 70bpm). Suffering from heart problems myself I have at a recorded instance where Apple Watch informed me of high heart rate while at rest, simply forgot to take my medication. I also found the Apple watch heart rate to read the exact same values as what was found in the hospital. 

    The more fit you are the lower your heart rate. I don't remember the numbers but I believe extremely fit people could go under 60.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    berndogberndog Posts: 86member

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    It’s just an English thing - >100 is tachycardia - the paragraph started out talking about tachycardia then had a small blurb about it being a rapid heart rate then got back on to telling us what the low end of fast is related the heart rate. The top end of bradycardia is <60 beats per minute. Those numbers are for the middle of the  road adult. The very fit will go lower than 60 at rest. The ill or injured will go out of the 60-100 resting pulse range and hopefully trigger an alert. We all go above 100 during exercise depending on our level of fitness or pfitness.....
    edited March 7 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,201member
    davgreg said:
    The heart rate function does not require the lead 1 ECG function- the older watches can detect the pule with the LED on the back of the watch.
    It can, but when it does it’s nice to be able to check specifically for AFib with a single-lead ECG.

    I have a family member (who was using my Series 3 Watch) that kept being reported of an atypically high resting heart rate. He thought it was a Watch issue but he eventually got a checkup because it wouldn’t go away and because he had been feeling tired. AFib showed up and he had a valve repaired yesterday using the MAZE procedure.
    edited March 7 lolliverforgot usernamewatto_cobracaladanian
  • Reply 11 of 24
    GhostalGhostal Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    davgreg said:
    The heart rate function does not require the lead 1 ECG function- the older watches can detect the pule with the LED on the back of the watch.
    Yeah, but if he got the alert that might mean that he wasn't in sinus rhythm. There are different types of tachycardia. I used to have a version where my heart beat was super steady... just really really fast. My cousin has a form where his rhythm is both fast and out of whack. The former is more inconvenient, the latter has a higher risk for stroke. 
    forgot usernamewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24

    The more fit you are the lower your heart rate. I don't remember the numbers but I believe extremely fit people could go under 60.
    60 isn't even "extremely" fit. It's moderately fit. Professional athletes can dip below 50.
    GeorgeBMacforgot usernamewatto_cobracaladanian
  • Reply 13 of 24
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,961member

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    As a nurse, if I saw a true resting heart rate of 100 (say in a patient in bed & not aroused or disturbed), I wouldn't be alarmed, but I would look for a cause - particularly if it were a new phenomenon.
    edited March 7 forgot usernamewatto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 14 of 24
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,961member
    metrix said:

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    I am no doctor but I think the extreme fit have lower heart rates at rest than average (below 70bpm). Suffering from heart problems myself I have at a recorded instance where Apple Watch informed me of high heart rate while at rest, simply forgot to take my medication. I also found the Apple watch heart rate to read the exact same values as what was found in the hospital. 
    Mine is usually between 48 and 52 -- but it only gets to 48 when I'm in race ready condition.  Some endurance athletes go to the low 40's and I have heard claims of high 30's -- although I suspect they may be a one-off.
    lolliverforgot usernamecaladanian
  • Reply 15 of 24
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,400unconfirmed, member

    The more fit you are the lower your heart rate. I don't remember the numbers but I believe extremely fit people could go under 60.
    60 isn't even "extremely" fit. It's moderately fit. Professional athletes can dip below 50.

    That's right. But most fit people would be over 60.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    metrix said:

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    I am no doctor but I think the extreme fit have lower heart rates at rest than average (below 70bpm). Suffering from heart problems myself I have at a recorded instance where Apple Watch informed me of high heart rate while at rest, simply forgot to take my medication. I also found the Apple watch heart rate to read the exact same values as what was found in the hospital. 
    Mine is usually between 48 and 52 -- but it only gets to 48 when I'm in race ready condition.  Some endurance athletes go to the low 40's and I have heard claims of high 30's -- although I suspect they may be a one-off.
    I go to the gym a few times a week, for an hour most days but for 2 on the weekend. Nobody would likely call me “very fit” or an endurance athlete but might think I look like I’m in shape for my age. I usually get numbers in the mid to upper 40s or low 50s while at rest and when I’m sleeping it isn’t particularly uncommon for my heart rate to drop below 30. I’m not doubting that athletes typically have lower heart rates, but physiology definitely plays a part as well.
    edited March 7
  • Reply 17 of 24
    This is so stupid. Tachycardia is not fatal, certainly not at the levels that an Apple Watch would pick up first. I'm a paramedic and people feel their hearts racing and have discomfort etc. You can detect tachycardia with a simple pulse check. Also all the people with atrial fibrillation you hear the Apple Watch saved their lives. Almost everyone over 75 has A-Fib. Yes it can lead to bad things but it can be controlled. These are things a person's doctor detects.  Apple Watch many things, but this frequent claim of Apple Watch saved another life is well overblown hype. 
  • Reply 18 of 24
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,961member
    metrix said:

    which for most adults would be a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute

    You did say "most" adults. Can you provide proof? A normal adult resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 - 100 beats per minute. Those of us that are more physically fit have a rate lower than 100. Mine typically hovers around 80-85.


    I am no doctor but I think the extreme fit have lower heart rates at rest than average (below 70bpm). Suffering from heart problems myself I have at a recorded instance where Apple Watch informed me of high heart rate while at rest, simply forgot to take my medication. I also found the Apple watch heart rate to read the exact same values as what was found in the hospital. 
    Mine is usually between 48 and 52 -- but it only gets to 48 when I'm in race ready condition.  Some endurance athletes go to the low 40's and I have heard claims of high 30's -- although I suspect they may be a one-off.
    I go to the gym a few times a week, for an hour most days but for 2 on the weekend. Nobody would likely call me “very fit” or an endurance athlete but might think I look like I’m in shape for my age. I usually get numbers in the mid to upper 40s or low 50s while at rest and when I’m sleeping it isn’t particularly uncommon for my heart rate to drop below 30. I’m not doubting that athletes typically have lower heart rates, but physiology definitely plays a part as well.
    Yes, just as some, like Greg Lelond (cyclist) have amazing VO2Max's (the ability to deliver & use Oxygen to the muscles), I suspect that some have naturally lower heart rates than others.  But in your case my personal bet is that maybe you should give yourself more credit!

    Also, some medications (like Digoxin) can lower heart rate as well.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,961member
    This is so stupid. Tachycardia is not fatal, certainly not at the levels that an Apple Watch would pick up first. I'm a paramedic and people feel their hearts racing and have discomfort etc. You can detect tachycardia with a simple pulse check. Also all the people with atrial fibrillation you hear the Apple Watch saved their lives. Almost everyone over 75 has A-Fib. Yes it can lead to bad things but it can be controlled. These are things a person's doctor detects.  Apple Watch many things, but this frequent claim of Apple Watch saved another life is well overblown hype. 
    Yes, that's true -- tachycardia by itself is seldom fatal unless it goes into a fibrillation, but that's rare.  But it does have multiple causes -- most of which can be fatal.
    And it's also true that A-Fib is seldom an emergency.   And, it can be managed if treated properly.  But, like hypertension, many have it and don't know it so it goes untreated and can cause nasty side effects such as stroke.   So, yes, in those cases the Apple Watch is saving lives.   In addition, even for those who are being treated for A-Fib, the Apple Watch can let them know if it flashes up again and they can work with their doctor to get it under better control (change meds, etc....).  So, it's saving lives there as well.  (Just not as dramatically as, say, getting CPR & such)

    It's interesting the different perspective of nurses and paramedics.   When I was training to be a nurse I (incorrectly) assumed that a paramedic was just a nurse with less training.  Now I realize that we have very different (but equal) specialties and training.    I now know that, in an emergency, give me a paramedic over a nurse everytime.    
  • Reply 20 of 24
    "during the 15 hours I was at the hospital hooked up to the monitors, my monitors never disagreed with my Watch's reading. I checked many times." It’s not a game. It’s not a function that work only on paper. It’s work for real . It report problems about the heart. It give advice to breath deeply when sensors and processor think is time to do it. Apple Watch is innovation . Pure innovation. Thanks Apple. 
    Innovation? Not at all! My android-loving friends tell me that the curved glass on the side of their Samsung is pure genius innovation. A watch that can measure heart rate? Well, that's just a shrug off to them. It's amazing that Apple is still tagged with not being innovative when they make things like this, right?
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