Though it’s not certified by the FDA as an official health and diagnostic tool, the Apple Watch has shown on numerous occasions that it’s capable of detecting and notifying its user of an underlying and potentially life-threatening health condition. While Apple forges ahead with its work developing medical-grade diagnostic tools for its next-generation wearables, the company’s current wearables are out there saving lives already.
Most accounts have centered around the Apple Watch helping its fortunate owners discover underlying heart beat irregularities — interesting, as Apple and Stanford University are currently conducting a Heart Study of their own to that effect. The latest report of an Apple Watch notifying its owner of a serious underlying condition, however, is perhaps the wearable’s most impressive feat to date.
Adam Love, a 24-year-old Australian man, recently discovered that his heart had a literal hole in it: a serious congenital heart defect which he’s assured would not have been diagnosed if it weren’t for his Apple Watch’s built-in heart-rate monitor.
Love, in an interview with local Australian 9News, said he credits the device for alerting him that his heart was beating way too fast while he slept at night, prompting the young-adult to seek medical attention.
“My sleeping heart rate was averaging about 130-140 beats per minute. So that was while I was resting about six hours at night,” Love told the publication.
Love was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart condition known as ASD (or Atrial Septal Defect) and recently underwent open-heart surgery to patch up the hole. It was at that time, doctors discovered, that one of Love’s lungs was sending blood into the wrong atrium of his heart, meaning that the blood was merely circulating from his lung to his heart and then back again, as opposed to throughout the rest of his body.
The surgery was a success, and Love ultimately left the hospital shortly after, though his road to recovery will be steep. Still, the otherwise young and well-built Aussie is just glad to be alive and praised Apple Watch as the device that saved his life.
“I don’t think I’d live without one now. I love it for the convenience but also the fact it just picked up something medically that I had no idea about and it potentially saved my life.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple Watch has been credited with alerting its owners of a potentially serious, underlying and previously unknown health condition.
In addition to the myriad of cases where the wearable alerted its owner of a dangerously irregular heart beat, Apple Watch has also been credited (in part) with saving the lives of many unsuspecting users, including a Florida teenager who, earlier this year, discovered she was suffering from undiagnosed chronic kidney disease when the Apple Watch she was wearing alerted her of a dangerously high resting heart rate.
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Even despite its current capabilities, Apple is slated to introduce an all-new Apple Watch Series 4 this fall, boasting features like a larger OLED display, upgraded internals and possibly a suite of new health and medical tools, which may include in-built or add-on functionality allowing advanced EKG recordings, blood glucose monitoring for diabetes patients, sunburn prevention and more, but we won’t know for sure until it’s unveiled.