At its event in September, Apple announced a new ECG feature that enabled users to take an electocardiogram of their heart and notify them of any irregular heartbeat. The feature was exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 4, and was to arrive at a later date. The ECG app finally arrived with the watchOS 5.1.2 update, and users obviously were quick to test it out and see if their heart was functioning normally or not. To one user’s surprise, he received an AFib result, causing him to rush to the doctors, where he was indeed diagnosed with irregular heartbeat.
Atrial fibrillation aka AFib is a term used for 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. After getting the ECG app update, one Reddit user, like many others, took an ECG to see his heart rate result. To his surprise, his result came back with an AFib. The result was the same after taking multiple tests, and he even tried the same on his wife’s wrist but it brought back normal results. After several rounds of testing, the Reddit user named u/edentel decided to walk into a walk-in clinic where he showed his results to them. He was quickly rushed ahead of the queue, where another ECG was then taken, which also brought back an AFib result.
The doctor at the clinic told him, “You should buy Apple stock. 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 user then headed straight to the cardiologist where his A-Fib was again confirmed, and an ultrasound was taken, and future visits were determined for proper treatment. The user was sent home with a Dilitiazem prescription, and his heart rate was down from the 120-140 range to the 75-90 range in one day.
Several stories of Siri, the iPhone, and Apple Watch saving lives have been reported in the past, but the ECG feature seems to be the fastest to do so, since its short span of being live. While this feature is exclusive to the US, we hope that Apple fast-tracks the government and health organisations clearance procedures and launches this new ECG feature in other regions, including India, soon.