A North Carolina woman is grateful for her Apple Watch after the wearable helped alert her to a previously undiscovered heart condition.
It was a normal work day for Beth Stamps of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Stamps, a home health nurse, was at a patient’s house when she noticed her heart beat quickly increasing to an unusually rapid pace, local news outlet ABC 11 reported.
“All of a sudden my heart rate jumped,” she told the news station. “I could feel it start racing almost as if you get done running a marathon.”
Knowing something was amiss, Stamps activated the heart monitoring feature on her Apple Watch Series 4. The device told her her heart rate was 177 beats-per-minute while standing still. That’s higher than the heart beat of many athletes during a workout.
Stamps said that she has experienced elevated heart rates in the past, but those events would always subside. This time, however, she wasn’t able to bring her heart rate down by relaxing or taking a deep breath.
Concerned, Stamps’ coworkers quickly contacted emergency services. At the hospital, doctors ended up running tests for two days straight.
Eventually, Stamps was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia. That’s an abnormally fast heart rhythm arising from improper electrical activity in the upper part of the heart. While it isn’t necessarily dangerous, it does require treatment to control
This is far from the first time that an Apple Watch has alerted a user to a previously unknown heart or other health condition. In many cases, an alert from an Apple Watch has even saved a user’s life — getting them to go to the hospital when they otherwise might not have.
Stamps had originally purchased the Apple Watch Series 4 shortly after Thanksgiving last year after hearing about its electrocardiogram (ECG) feature. While it was a big purchase, Stamps said she was thankful to have made it.
“My Apple Watch is on all day every day,” Stamps said.
While the Apple Watch Series 4 has a built-in ECG that can detect signs of atrial fibrillation, all Apple Watch models feature heart rate monitors that can detect irregular heart beats or rhythms and alert their users.