When an Ohio man went for his usual walk along the river recently and felt his knees turn to rubber, he had no idea what he was in for — other than he was “going down.”
But it turned out his Apple Watch and a health app had a few ideas, and they helped save the fallen 83-year-old’s life.
Man stricken with blood clot says Apple Watch saved his life after detecting fall
When William Fryer fell during his usual walk along the Ohio River Trail, he hoped someone would see him and call for help, according to a report from WCPO ABC-9 in Cincinnati.
Luckily someone — or something — did call for help.
“I went down and the first thing I remember is rolling over on my back and the phone is wanting to know if they can call for an emergency,” he said.
His Apple Watch had detected the fall and sent an SOS message to emergency services, along with messages to his daughter and son-in-law. The SOS messaging also surfaced on the handset.
Paramedics were soon attending to him, but they couldn’t determine the problem. They offered to take him home or to the hospital, and Fryer wisely chose the latter.
Apple Health data to the rescue
At the hospital, a vascular and interventional radiologist saw on an X-ray that Fryer had a large blood clot in his chest. But he lacked typical symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath or exercise intolerance.
Nor did Fryer’s heart rate or blood pressure show up as abnormal. But while answering questions about his medical history, Fryer showed the doctor a year’s worth of information about blood pressure and heart rate he keeps in a health app on his iPhone.
And that made it clear to the doctor that Fryer’s numbers — while in the normal range for the general population — were quite unusual for him. His heart rate might’ve been double its normal rate. So quick intervention led to surgery the next day to remove the blood clot.
The blood clot turned out to be a foot long when laid out. “I didn’t know a blood clot could get that thick,” Fryer said, comparing it to two strips of bacon.
The doctor noted Fryer was at high risk for a pulmonary embolism, which has a 50% mortality rate within 30 days.
But thanks to his Apple Watch, health data and the quick intervention, Fryer’s already back on the trail with his trusty wearable and iPhone.
And of course this follows many other stories of Apple Watch helping to save lives.