Most people who wear Apple Watches have no idea that they possess life-saving capabilities. The device has been credited with saving a teen and a man over the span of a week.
On April 29, 2018, the watch alerted Deanna Recktenwald, 18, of Tampa Bay, Fla., that her resting heart rate had jumped to 190 beats per minute. She was quickly transported to an emergency room, where she learned she was suffering from kidney failure. Had the watch not intervened, she may have died.
“It was alarming that the watch was telling us to seek medical attention,” Recktenwald’s mother Stacey told ABC Action News. “I didn’t even know that it had the capability of giving us that alert.”
The watch’s heart rate app allows users to see their resting, walking, workout and recovery heart rates throughout the day.
A very grateful Stacey Recktenwald’s contacted Apple to thank the company for developing “such an amazing lifesaving product.” She wrote: “If it wasn’t for her Apple watch alarming her about her HR we wouldn’t have discovered her kidney issue. I honestly feel that your Apple Watch has saved my daughter’s life,”
Apple CEO Tim Cook was moved by the incident and responded on Twitter: “Stories like Deanna’s inspire us to dream bigger and push harder every day.”
Only days after Recktenwald’s made headlines, another person came forward with an Apple Watch life-saving story. William Monzidelis of Westchester, New York, was working at his family’s bowling alley on April 3, 2018, when he didn’t feel well. He noticed bleeding when he went to the bathroom, and his Apple Watch notified him to seek immediate medical attention, reported NBC New York.
His mother took him to the hospital, and en route the 32-year-old lost nearly 80 per cent of his blood. Doctors determined he had an erupted ulcer and required a transfusion.
Doctors believe the watch’s warning encouraged Monzidelis to seek medical help because he likely wouldn’t have paid attention to the warning signs since he was a fairly healthy guy. That delay would have cost him his life.
Monzidelis says skeptics should listen to his story and consider buying their own Apple Watches. “Hopefully my story can push them to use technology,” he said. “In my case, it was like a little angel watching me. It really was a magical device.”
Apple recently partnered with Stanford Medicine to launch the Apple Heart Study app, a study that will use Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor to gather data on irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib).
“Every week we receive incredible customer letters about how Apple Watch has affected their lives, including learning that they have AFib,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO.
“These stories inspire us and we’re determined to do more to help people understand their health. Working alongside the medical community, not only can we inform people of certain health conditions, we also hope to advance discoveries in heart science,” Williams added.