The Apple Watch’s EKG heart rate monitor has possibly saved the life of yet another person.
According to a new report, the Apple Watch belonging to a man in Bothell, Washington was used to diagnose atrial fibrillation. Sometimes shortened to “a-fib” or “AF,” this refers to an irregular, fast heartbeat. It even won over skeptical medics in the process.
“I was really skeptical that this would provide a clear tracing for our patients, because I read EKGs all day every day,” a heart nurse at Pacific Medical Centers in Seattle is quoted as saying. However, she was apparently convinced by Apple’s technology.
“[The patient] had been off of blood thinner and he didn’t know it had come back,” Dr. Phil Massey, a cardiologist, told news outlet KIRO7. “And when you have AF it can be intermittent so he could come into the office and be in normal rhythm. But then he could show me the tracking on his watch and show me that it had come back. And then we got him on a blood thinner to prevent a stroke, so that is a big deal.”
One in four deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to heart disease. A device which can help spot early signs of heart problems is therefore a game-changer.
EKG on the Apple Watch
The EKG (also referred to as ECG) functionality is one of the biggest selling points of the Apple Watch Series 4. Users can activate it by placing their fingertip on the device’s Digital Crown. The device will then read a patient’s heart rhythm in just 30 seconds. It requires watchOS 5.1.2 to work. However, the feature has yet to roll out outside of the United States.
This is not the first time an Apple Watch has been credited with saving a person’s life. Such reports pop up with impressive frequency.
The Apple Watch is currently being used for large scale medical tests to look at the efficacy of irregular heart rhythm detection.