It looks like the Apple Watch Series 4’s brand-new ECG feature may already be saving lives.
Last week, Apple rolled out the much-anticipated ECG feature for the Apple Watch Series 4 users. The app, which was bundled in the latest watchOS 5.1.2, allows the watch to perform an ECG (electrocardiography) scan.
A Reddit user recently posted an experience of receiving a warning on his Apple watch which indicates he may be having AFib — an irregular heartbeat that could lead to stroke, heart failure, blood clots, and other heart-related complications. Since Apple even stated that the Apple Watch could at some point return a false-positive, the user tried “again and again and again” to see if that was indeed the case. The user later decided to go to the doctor the next morning after severally believing that the warning could be as a result of a “glitchy firmware.”
Upon visiting the clinic and speaking with a doctor, it seems the Apple Watch was right all along. After hooking the person up to a full ECG, it was confirmed that he was indeed in AFib, meaning his heart was not beating at a correct rhythm.
“You should buy Apple stock,” the doctor apparently told him. “This probably saved you. I read about this last night and thought we would see an upswing this week. I didn’t expect it first thing this morning.”
The doctor said that he expected to see more people pay visits to clinics as a result of the Apple Watch feature, but didn’t expect to see someone so soon.
Atrial fibrillation aka AFib is a term used for an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. If detected early, these users are put onto medication and other pre-emptive measures to prevent further complications.
While some cardiologists are wary of the new app insofar that it may result in a deluge of false positives and otherwise healthy patients showing up at emergency rooms, the story above illustrates that the Apple Watch is far more than just a regular smartwatch. As we’ve seen a number of times over the past few years, it can very well be used to help save lives.