We’ve heard several stories thus far about the Apple Watch’s ECG functionality saving people’s lives. Now, an Apple Watch user in Washington has credited his Apple Watch with alerting him that his atrial fibrillation had returned.
According to local news outlet KIRO, cardiologist Dr. Phil Massey of Pacific Medical Centers had a patient come into the hospital after his Apple Watch indicated he had an irregular heart rhythm.
The patient had been treated for atrial fibrillation in the past, but A-fib can be intermittent. According to Massey, the patient had been off his blood thinner medication and had not realized his atrial fibrillation had returned until his Apple Watch notified him.
“He had been off of blood thinner and he didn’t know it had come back,” Dr. Massey said. “And when you have AF it can be intermittent so he could come into the office and be in normal rhythm. But then he could show me the tracking on his watch and show me that it had come back. And then we got him on a blood thinner to prevent a stroke, so that is a big deal.”
Meanwhile, a heart nurse at Pacific Medical Centers added that she was “really skeptical” that the Apple Watch ECG readings would be useful until this case.
“I was really skeptical that this would provide a clear tracing for our patients, because I read EKG’s all day every day.” But she’s a believer now.
Going forward, Dr. Massey says he’s excited to see what other heart rhythm problems will be detectable outside of a doctor’s office. “I am hopeful that other heart rhythm problems will be able to be detected in the future outside of the doctor’s office,” he said. “And that’s exciting.”