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Apple Watch’s new ECG app helps save another life

Published Jan 9th, 2019 7:37PM EST
Apple Watch ECG

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During an interview with CNBC yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple’s biggest contribution to the world will ultimately be in the realm of healthcare.

“If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’ It will be about health. Because our business has always been about enriching people’s lives,” Cook said. “And as we’ve gotten into healthcare more and more through the Watch and through other things that we’ve created with ResearchKit and CareKit and putting your medical records on the iPhone, this is a huge deal.”

While Cook’s remarks may seem like standard hyperbolic CEO-speak, the Apple Watch’s new ECG app is already saving lives. Since rolling out about a month ago, we’ve already seen a handful of stories involving people who were alerted to potentially dangerous heart conditions via the ECG app on their Apple Watch Series 4.

The most recent example comes to us via WMUR News which details how a New Hampshire man named Barry Maden sought medical attention after the ECG app revealed that he might have an irregular heartbeat, a condition that can lead to serious health complications and, if untreated, even death in some circumstances.

Maden promptly went to a nearby hospital where further testing was done.

“When I got to the ER, they did an actual EKG on a cart — the real deal,” he said.

Sure enough, medical professionals told Maden that he was, in fact, in AFIB.

“It would’ve probably taken me longer had I not had something actually telling me that something’s not right,” he said.

While some health professionals have expressed reservations that the new ECG app may yield a number of false-positives and result in an influx of otherwise health patients occupying space in hospital emergency rooms, there’s no evidence that that will be much of an issue at all.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.