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Brooklyn Man Says Apple Watch Detected Abnormal Heart Rate, Saved His Life

Brooklyn Man Says Apple Watch Detected Abnormal Heart Rate, Saved His Life
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A mass-market wearable might not seem like the likeliest of heroes, but one man said that his Apple Watch saved his life.

Podcaster James Greene of Brooklyn, New York tweeted about the incident on Oct. 13. Reportedly, the device alerted him of a spike in his heart rate, which prompted him to call his doctor. At the time, he said didn’t know that the notification sent by his “stupid lil wrist computer” he had bought two years prior would save his life.

It turns out, Greene said, that he had a pulmonary embolism — a potentially life-threatening condition caused by blocked arteries in the lungs. The risk of death, however, is greatly reduced by prompt treatments to break up those clots, according to Mayo Clinic.

In a separate tweet, Greene specifically thanked the makers of Heart Watch, a third party app that sends a notification to users when it detects heart rate abnormalities using the Apple Watch’s built-in heart rate monitor. By default, the app can notify users if their heart rate spikes above 120bmp when they’re at rest.

Greene said that he was later discharged from the hospital and sent home after the incident. And although he added that he will be on blood thinners “for life,” he hopes that this is the last time that it happens.

According to one study conducted by Stanford University and the Swedish School of Sport and Health Services, the Apple Watch has the most accurate heart rate monitor of any fitness tracker. Another study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco showed that the Apple Watch can detect heart issues with around a 97 percent accuracy.

Apple has placed increasing focus on the Apple Watch’s health and wellness uses. Earlier this year, Apple announced that it was working with clinicians at Stanford University and experts at American Well to determine if the wearable’s heart rate monitors could detect abnormal heart rhythms, or cardiac arrhythmias, CNBC reported in May.

It isn’t the first time an Apple Watch owner has said that the wearable helped save their life. In 2015, a teen said that the Apple Watch’s heart monitor alerted him of a dangerously elevated heart rate. And earlier this year, a man involved in a car accident said that his Apple Watch helped him contact first responders in the wake of the crash.

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