Apple has long marketed the Apple Watch as a health device and today we’re seeing yet another instance of the device being put to good use. 28-year-old Apple Watch user James Green tweeted over the weekend that the “stupid lil wrist computer” saved his life.
Using the third-party application HeartWatch, Green was alerted of an abnormally high heart rate that prompted him to seek medical attention. The app monitors heart rate constantly throughout the day and sends a notification if it goes below or above a certain threshold.
The Telegraph reports that the pulmonary embolism Green suffered “would have been fatal” had he not sought medical attention, according to his doctor. Green says that the alert from his Apple Watch, along with other symptoms, prompted him to seek medical attention immediately. From there, a CT scan was ordered and it revealed blood clots in Green’s lungs.
“I got an alert from HeartWatch that my heart rate was continually above my resting heart rate of 54, even when I was just sitting at my desk. That along with other symptoms I was having was enough data I needed to act on it, and realise it wasn’t a panic attack (since I have severe generalised anxiety), that it was something more.”
HeartWatch creator David Walsh also offered some color on his inspiration to create the app, explaining that his father died at age 56 due to a sudden heart problem:
“As the Apple Watch has evolved, so has the app. What it can do is check your non active heart rate constantly throughout the day and if it falls above or below a specific threshold then it will give you an alert.
Over the last few years, the stories I hear about how the app and the Apple Watch have changed people’s lives and sometimes saved their lives are truly heartwarming. What’s also interesting is that I also added an ability to let people share their data with their doctors and this has been incredibly popular.”
Apple added a host of new heart rate features to Apple Watch with watchOS 4, but Green says his watch doesn’t support those features. “And my watch is too old to have the new software update that enabled the heart rate alerts,” he said.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Apple Watch saving lives. Back in 2015, Tim Cook offered a 17-year-old who said his Apple Watch saved his life an internship as well as a free iPhone. The Apple Watch’s SOS feature has also been credited with helping in emergencies several times.