Apple Watch's heart rate monitoring credited with saving another life

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 9
The Apple Watch has saved another life, according to a post made to Reddit, where the Apple wearable is credited with alerting its owner to heart issues and prompting a call for assistance, shortly before a medical emergency took place.




The heart rate monitoring functions of the Apple Watch provides a number of ways to alert the user in the event of an irregularity, including if the heart is beating at an unusually high or low rate, or in the case of the Apple Watch Series 4, when the electrocardiogram function detects an atrial fibrillation (AFib) state. The notifications have led to a number of reports where users are warned of a problem that became more serious, with one surfacing on Saturday continuing the trend.

Posted to Reddit by "ClockworkWVVII" with the title "My Apple Watch just saved my life," the Redditor explains they received a high heart rate notification while relaxing in bed. The user then contacted the emergency services for medical assistance, as a preventative measure.

The paramedics arrived to find the user in "serious trouble," with their body described as having gone "into shock." The poster was put onto a stretcher and taken to the trauma center of the local hospital.

Later updates to the story reveal they were suffering from tachycardia and had passed out in the ambulance, before being revived in the hospital. An ECG confirmed all chambers of their heart were beating properly but faster than normal, a condition the cardiologist specified was supra-ventricular tachycardia or SVT.

ClockworkWXVII acknowledged the swift onset of shock following the alerts, advising, "I felt totally fine before everything happened, and then notifications, and then BAM, everything goes nuts." The user adds "Thank you Apple for making an amazing accessory and tool that helps people stay not dead."

The story is one of many instances where the Apple Watch advised of heart issues that later turned out to be serious. In March, it was credited with saving the brother of a radio show host for tachycardia, while in early April the rollout of the ECG app in Europe helped detect AFib in one German patient.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Pleeeeeeease can someone tell me the workaround to get this working in Australia. It hasn't received approval here yet (I know, I know) but there must surely be a workaround as it is only software disabled as far as I know.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    dedgeckodedgecko Posts: 112member
    beadlien said:
    Pleeeeeeease can someone tell me the workaround to get this working in Australia. It hasn't received approval here yet (I know, I know) but there must surely be a workaround as it is only software disabled as far as I know.
    Lobby your representatives in government. 
    gutengeljbdragonmacseeker
  • Reply 3 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,957member
    beadlien said:
    Pleeeeeeease can someone tell me the workaround to get this working in Australia. It hasn't received approval here yet (I know, I know) but there must surely be a workaround as it is only software disabled as far as I know.
    This was not the ECG function of the Series 4, but the simple optical heart rate sensor and accelerometer that have been on the watch since Series 0.  It simply reported an elevated heart rate while he was not exercising.   I doubt that that is blocked in any country.
    frantisektjwolfchaicka
  • Reply 4 of 14
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 495member
    When such devices will be able to inform us of stress level it will be important To see whether our great busy lives are not just hidden nightmares for our body and health.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    silvergold84silvergold84 Posts: 70unconfirmed, member
    This is true innovation. Absolutely great products by Apple. The best. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,190member
    Who would've thought that a biofeedback device could help save lives? (rhetorical)
    steveauwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    I never get tired of hearing about this!

    But then again, I have my blood sugar on my Apple Watch, and it has informed me as I was starting to go low plenty of times.
    SoliGeorgeBMacsflocal
  • Reply 8 of 14
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member
    I never get tired of hearing about this!

    But then again, I have my blood sugar on my Apple Watch, and it has informed me as I was starting to go low plenty of times.
    Do you have an extra accessory that connects to your Apple Watch which monitors your blood sugar?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,532member
    Sure, this is nice and all.  But what about all the other times Apple is NOT saving lives?  Are we going to let them get away with it?  Apple isn't doing enough, and they should be held responsible.  Also, Apple is simultaneously doing too much, and they should be held accountable for that too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 106member
    beadlien said:
    Pleeeeeeease can someone tell me the workaround to get this working in Australia. It hasn't received approval here yet (I know, I know) but there must surely be a workaround as it is only software disabled as far as I know.
    This was not the ECG function of the Series 4, but the simple optical heart rate sensor and accelerometer that have been on the watch since Series 0.  It simply reported an elevated heart rate while he was not exercising.   I doubt that that is blocked in any country.
    Both the ECG and the Afib-check+notifications are released now in bigger parts of Europe. Before this release Afib was not(!) giving notifications. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    beadlien said:
    Pleeeeeeease can someone tell me the workaround to get this working in Australia. It hasn't received approval here yet (I know, I know) but there must surely be a workaround as it is only software disabled as far as I know.
    While the irregular rhythm and ECG features are not enabled in Australia(required for Afib detection), the notification received by this reddit user is enabled. This was the high heart rate detection feature. You can see the full list of features available in your country by visiting here: https://www.apple.com/watchos/feature-availability/ ;

    With regards to Afib detection being enabled in Australia, that's up to the TGA - however as approvals are now granted by the EC and FDA you can expect Australia won't be far behind (since adoption can be far quicker when either of these entities have granted approval.)

    There is simply no work around - the hardware knows where it was purchased, and that's a godo thing: If a work-around existed, this could actually be detrimental to the product. (Because Customs.)

    Side note: Remember all the press reports which suggested that ECG would take 5+ years to get approval in UK/Europe. Keep that in mind when you consider how b/s the press acts towards Apple.
    edited April 8 SoliGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    steveausteveau Posts: 242member
    brucemc said:
    Sure, this is nice and all.  But what about all the other times Apple is NOT saving lives?  Are we going to let them get away with it?  Apple isn't doing enough, and they should be held responsible.  Also, Apple is simultaneously doing too much, and they should be held accountable for that too.
    The media will call it "heartgate".
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,957member
    beadlien said:
    Pleeeeeeease can someone tell me the workaround to get this working in Australia. It hasn't received approval here yet (I know, I know) but there must surely be a workaround as it is only software disabled as far as I know.
    While the irregular rhythm and ECG features are not enabled in Australia(required for Afib detection), the notification received by this reddit user is enabled. This was the high heart rate detection feature. You can see the full list of features available in your country by visiting here: https://www.apple.com/watchos/feature-availability/ ;

    With regards to Afib detection being enabled in Australia, that's up to the TGA - however as approvals are now granted by the EC and FDA you can expect Australia won't be far behind (since adoption can be far quicker when either of these entities have granted approval.)

    There is simply no work around - the hardware knows where it was purchased, and that's a godo thing: If a work-around existed, this could actually be detrimental to the product. (Because Customs.)

    Side note: Remember all the press reports which suggested that ECG would take 5+ years to get approval in UK/Europe. Keep that in mind when you consider how b/s the press acts towards Apple.

    Thanks, that was informed and informative.
    But, for the ECG approval in the U.S., I don't think those predictions had anything to do with Apple and everything to do with the FDA and their typically very slow, plodding approval process (especially as they have always maintained a wall between consumer devices and medical devices.  They are starting, in certain instances, to push a few things through much faster, and they pushed the Apple watch through far faster than normal.  It may be because Apple had been working with them since before the Series 0 was even a thing.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,367member
    I really like seeing these reports of 'saves' for the Watch. I just hope (LOL) that media keeps the Saves separate from the Sort of Saves.

    Besides alerting wearers to genuine, immediate life-threatening incidents, there have those that were in the 'if not attended to, somewhere down the road, possibly could be..." situations.

    In the scheme of things, I'd rather have a lengthy warning in time to correct my behavior or condition than get an alert saying 'Your very real life-threatening, probably death-inducing event will occur in T-minus... It's been nice'.

    I'd just hate do see someone dismiss anybody's watch as a health monitor because of erroneous or dubious 'saved my life' claims.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
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