A British man, Adam Croft, who is a bestselling author in the UK, recently had his life saved by his Apple Watch. The story was first reported by the BBC. Croft, who lives in Flitwick, Bedfordshire, felt dizzy one evening and ended up on the floor in a pool of cold sweat. He thought nothing of it and went to bed. The next morning, he discovered that his Apple Watch had been alerting him every two hours that his heart was in atrial fibrillation (AFib), which can lead to blood clots, strokes, and death. Croft called 111, the UK’s National Health Service’s emergency number, and was advised to go to the hospital within an hour.
Apple Watch alerts Croft to his irregular heart rhythm
Croft went to Bedford Hospital, where two electrocardiograms (ECGs) confirmed that the Apple Watch had correctly spotted AFib. He had previously experienced “little flutterings” of his heart that elicited no warning from his Apple Watch. He also did not experience any pain or have any symptoms that he thought were serious. Croft said that if his Apple Watch had not alerted him to the irregular heart rhythms, he would not have called 111. He has been prescribed blood thinners and is on a cardioversion procedure that uses quick, low-energy shocks to correct the rhythm of his heart.
AFib is a serious condition
Chloe MacArthur, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, says that AFib is a serious condition, especially if left untreated. Symptoms can include palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, feeling faint, unexplained tiredness, and difficulty exercising. Devices like the Apple Watch are useful, but those receiving alerts that something is wrong still need to see a doctor. “Wearable devices can be helpful for improving exercise habits and eating behaviors and they can provide motivation to lead a healthier lifestyle – all of which contribute to lowering the risk of heart disease – but they are not a replacement for medical advice, and they cannot provide a diagnosis,” says MacArthur. Anyone concerned about their heart health should speak to their doctor.
Bedford Hospital in England where Adam Croft received treatment
Croft’s story highlights the importance of wearable technology in monitoring our health. The Apple Watch’s ECG feature saved his life, and it’s not a feature he ever expected to use. If you’re concerned about your heart health, speak to your doctor. And if you’re an Apple Watch wearer, keep it on – it could save your life.