Reddit user ClockworkWXVII shared a harrowing experience over the weekend, writing in a post about being at home laying in bed, watching TV and eating, thinking everything was totally fine. All of a sudden, the user’s Apple Watch noted that his “heart rate was stupid fast,” which prompted a call for help. Emergency responders arrived and “found me in serious trouble,” resulting in a rush to the hospital and a trip to the trauma section.
“I felt totally fine before everything happened, and then notifications, and then BAM, everything goes nuts,” the Reddit user recounted, explaining that the watch spotted symptoms of tachycardia, a dangerous condition characterized by a rapid heartbeat. An appointment with a cardiologist was scheduled the day after the hospital visit.
It was a lucky turn events that this person happened to be wearing an Apple Watch that could spot a potential heart problem. At this point, though, it may also be worth pointing out the obvious — there have been so many stories like this by now, so many instances of potentially dangerous heart activity being caught early, that it doesn’t seem unfair to point out the obvious. iOS users who don’t own an Apple Watch yet, what are you waiting for? You could make a case that you’re actually just risking your health at this point by not having one.
Yes, this is one of the big selling points Apple is pushing in its messaging about the product. And for good reason. Even before the ECG feature was available in the watch, a study with some 400,000 participants found that even earlier models of the watch were able to correctly identify instances of atrial fibrillation, which is characterized by an irregular heartbeat.
The watch’s ECG feature debuted in the Apple Watch Series 4, and it’s helped correctly ID scores of heart irregularities in users.
In a pair of updates to the original Reddit post, user ClockworkWXVII noted that upon arrival to the hospital, a doctor eventually brought in results showing “while all the chambers of the heart were beating like they should, they were doing so at an abnormally fast rate.”
The post was a little emotional, but for a certainly understandable reason. “100% thank you apple for making an amazing accessory and tool that helps people stay not dead,” it continues at one point, again serving as a reminder that the product is a lot more than a shiny wearable from the iPhone maker and has an abundance of health benefits. Benefits like the nudges to make yourself more active, as well as features that are relied on like the user in this Reddit post to catch potentially life-threatening conditions.