How Apple Watch Prevented a Dangerous Heart Condition

In an article over at ZDNet, Jason Perlow has shared his real-life experience on how the Apple Watch saved his life by preventing what could have led to a fatal heart attack. Back in May, he signed up to participate in the Apple Heart Study, a large data-gathering exercise in partnership with Stanford University and installed the app on his iPhone.


A few days later, Perlow was prompted by the app to seek medical assistance after observing irregular heart rhythm at several instances (shown above). He followed the instructions and tapped the “Call a Doctor” button inside the app. He was immediately patched through to one of Stanford’s cardiologists via FaceTime video call to discuss the results.

While they could not be absolutely certain, there were indications I might have Atrial Fibrillation or “Afib”, which is a common form of heart arrhythmia that affects tens of millions of people. It often goes undiagnosed, because in many cases, it is paroxysmal in nature.

Unlike heart disease, where the risk is congestive heart failure, the risk of Afib is a stroke, because the abnormal rhythm can cause a blood clot.

To confirm the results, the Stanford doctor sent him an ePatch, a small device you tape to your chest for a week to collect a broader set of data. When he sent it back to Stanford after a week, his doctor had another FaceTime consultation with them to reveal that he was in Afib 28% of the time.

The doctor told him that he was extremely lucky the Apple Watch picked up the Afib relatively early as, in a few years, the likelihood of stroke would be greater because the condition would get worse.

Perlow is now looking to upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 4 as soon as it becomes available.