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A 74-year-old Florida man is crediting the Apple Watch with saving his life from a condition that he didn’t even know existed.
Roy Robison of Fort Worth, Florida said he was on a trip to visit family when he started getting unusual alerts on his Apple Watch.
The first notification popped up when he found himself out of breath after climbing a few flights of stairs at his granddaughter’s school.
That was strange since Robinson said he considered himself fairly fit. The notification itself was also unusual; it simply read “You’re in A-fib.”
“I had no idea what A-fib was,” Robinson told local media outlet WPBF.
His Apple Watch continued to send him alerts over the rest of the day. But it was only after his wearable alerted him for the sixth time when he was on the couch that he and his family decided to investigate what was going on.
Robinson proceeded to Google “A-fib” and, after eating Thanksgiving dinner, headed to nearby John Hopkins Hospital.
“We showed up at the hospital and they said, ‘Why are you here,” Robinson said, adding that he told doctors that his watch told him he was in A-fib. “So he hooks me up to the electrocardiogram and after about 30 seconds of looking at (it), says, “We’re admitting you.”
During his time at the facility, Robinson said that a number of doctors, nurses and other staff visited him, saying that they all wanted to see the “guy that was saved by the Apple Watch.”
“I’m not sure if it saved my life,” Robinson concluded. “But it sure as hell helped.”
Atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, is a condition characterized by an irregular heart rate. If not treated promptly, A-fib can significantly increase the risk of stroke or heart failure.
The Apple Watch has caught numerous cases of A-fib before. And a recent study by Stanford University even confirmed that the wearable can accurately detect the condition through its heart rate sensor.
Beyond alerting users to potentially dangerous health conditions, the Apple Watch has other safety features like the ability to contact emergency services automatically if a severe fall is detected.
If you haven’t set up irregular heart rhythm notifications on your Apple Watch, we strongly recommend doing so — no matter how old or healthy you may be. You can enable the feature in the Watch app on iPhone by navigating to the Heart menu.