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Apple Watch detects 80-year-old heart patient’s disease when hospital machines could not

(Source: Reuters)


  • An 80-year-old lady in Germany was recently treated with a coronary artery stent.
  • An Apple Watch recently came to the rescue of an 80-year-old lady in Germany. It’s ECG reading helped in detecting her disease when the hospital machines could not.

  • She was diagnosed with myocardial ischaemia because of her Apple Watch’s ECG functionality.
  • Ischaemia is a condition when there is a restriction in blood vessels that can restrict the blood supply.

An 80-year-old woman with a heart condition was recently treated because of the ECG functionality feature of her Apple Watch. The woman hailed from Germany and her hospital’s medical-grade machine failed to detect her heart condition during a diagnosis, news agency IANS reported.

The elderly woman attended the University Medical Centre, Mainz of Johannes Gutenberg University. The doctors said that she showed “typical angina symptoms.”

The study was published in the European Heart Journal. She also indicated of ‘presyncope’ episodes — a situation where a person almost loses consciousness due to reduced flow of oxygenated blood to the brain.

Keeping all the details in mind, the doctors performed an initial 12-channel ECG.

The tests, however, did not pick up any evidence for ischemia– a condition when there is a restriction in blood vessels that can restrict the blood supply.

The patient then showed the doctors the result of ECG on her apple watch revealing ”tracings with marked ST-segment depression”.

Through the readings from the Apple Watch, the doctors saw evidence of myocardial ischemia which was missed by the hospital machine.

The patient was then transferred to a catheterization lab. The study stated that the patient was then treated with coronary artery stenting and left the hospital a day later.

The study stated, “The development of smart technologies paves the way for new diagnostic possibilities. In the case of the Apple watch, after the mobile application is installed, the watch records an ECG when a finger is placed on the watch”s digital crown. A 30-s tracing is stored in a PDF file that can be retrieved from the application.

“Thus, the Apple watch may be used not only to detect atrial fibrillation atrioventricular-conduction disturbances but also to detect myocardial ischaemia,” the authors wrote.

This is not the first time an Apple Watch has helped in saving someone’s life.

In September 2019, a man from the city of Spokane in Washington State credited Apple Watch for saving his father’s life after a biking accident, another rep[ort by IANS stated.

The emergency contact, Gabe Burdett also got notified about his father’s location. Later on, he got notified by the Apple Watch that his father was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The Watch notified 911 (emergency number) with the location and within 30 minutes, emergency medical services (EMS) took the injured Bob to the hospital.

“If you own an Apple Watch, set up your hard fall detection, it’s not just for when you fall off a roof or a ladder. Had he fallen somewhere on the High Drive trails or another remote area, the location would have clued EMS in on where to find him. Amazing technology and so glad he had it,” Burdett had posted on Facebook.

Another known reported case was when a doctor saved a person’s life by using Apple Watch Series 4 on his wrist to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib) at a restaurant.


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