How Apple Watch Inspired an Apple Employee to Go to Med School


Central Michigan University has recently shared the story of Brian Shear, a former Apple intern who once strapped his Apple Watch onto a fellow passenger when she collapsed during an airline flight and used it as a tool for logging her pulse data.

The incident inspired him to go to medical school where he went on to create an ebook for brain tumor patients during his first-year summer internship (via 9to5Mac).

The career-deciding moment for Shear occurred on a plane ride from Arizona back to D.C., when soon after takeoff the woman sitting in front of him passed out.

Shear, along with an internal medicine physician and a lifeguard, jumped out of their seats and started working on her. Shear pulled off his Apple watch and put it on the woman to monitor her pulse. When the plane landed, he gave the watch to the emergency technician so doctors could have her pulse data from the flight.

“That’s when I decided that I want to go to medical school. I want to be the one using the latest technology and be a part of pushing it forward, not the one making and selling it.”

Shear started at the CMU College of Medicine and subsequently interned at the Yale Cancer Center, where he created the ebook.

When his mentor at the Yale Cancer Center showed him the text-filled, 56-page informational binder she had put together for brain tumor patients, Shear asked her if he could create an electronic version that would be easier to read and cost less to produce. 

“Coincidentally, we were thinking about the same thing,” said his mentor, Dr. Jennifer Moliterno, chief of neurosurgical oncology in the department of neurosurgery. “He had shown himself to be very capable, so we turned him loose.” On Sept. 29, the e-book was unveiled at the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance’s charity walk-run.

Shear believes his interactive ebook not only makes it more engaging and simpler for patients to understand but also makes it easily available at other hospitals and cancer centers.

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