Apple Watch saves teenager's life in Florida

The Apple Watch worn by the teenager detected a pulse rate spike and advised medical attention.

  • Published: May 3, 2018 11:30 AM IST
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A teenager in Florida’s could well have had her life saved after the Apple Watch she was wearing detected a heart-rate spike and advised her to seek medical attention. 18-year-old Deanna Recktenwald was sitting in a church with her mother, when the Apple Watch she was wearing alerted her that her heart rate had increased abnormally and was registering too high at 160 beats-per-minute. The normal resting heart rate is in the range of 60-100bpm, and the sudden increase in heart rate registered as out-of-the-ordinary for the Apple Watch. The story was reported by television station WFTS Tampa Bay.

While the teenager had a mild headache and was slightly breathless, the initial spike wasn’t a cause for alarm for her mother, who is a registered nurse. Since the teenager had no previous medical conditions, the matter was initially not alarming. However, the Apple Watch soon gave another warning as the teenager’s heart rate rose to 190bpm, after which she was taken to seek medical attention. In the emergency room, it turned out that the teenager was in kidney failure.

As it turned out, the Apple Watch had successfully detected a health condition that had not been suspected with the individual, and alerted her to a key change in her body. For its actions, the Apple Watch is being credited with having saved the teenager’s life. While a lot of smart wearable devices have heart-rate sensors, not all devices are able to detect abnormal changes in heart rate and alert the user proactively. Hence, the specific actions of the Apple Watch and its ability to detect abnormalities are noteworthy in this particular case.

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The teenager’s mother wrote to Apple regarding this, and the story received a response from Apple CEO Tim Cook himself on Twitter.

The Apple Watch Series 3 lets you keep track of critical health parameters such as heart rate, detecting irregular patterns in your heart rate, even going ahead to warn you about arrhythmia. This works using either the native Heart Rate Monitor app on iOS, or various other apps that work with the Apple Watch such as Qardio.

  • Published Date: May 3, 2018 11:30 AM IST