Apple Watch saves Mum's life

"If it wasn’t for the Apple Watch, there’s a high probability she wouldn’t have made it through the rest of the day."

From Zac Hall's "Son’s Apple Watch Series 8 catches parent’s potentially fatal heart condition days after launch" posted Tuesday on 9to5Mac:

Within days of Apple Watch Series 8 reaching customers, 9to5Mac reader Jason Smith saw the value of its health features firsthand. Medical officials credit Jason’s Apple Watch Series 8 for detecting an invisible heart condition in his mother that could have been fatal if not discovered early.

"My parents were going away for the weekend to Chester (UK) when I received a call from my dad to say that Mum wasn’t feeling well at all,” Jason tells us. “He said she felt very dizzy and as though her heart was pounding — I told them to pull over and that I would be with them as quickly as possible.”

“I then took my Apple Watch Series 8 and placed it on her wrist to perform an ECG. This is when the Watch alerted us to say it had detected atrial fibrillation and to seek medical assistance immediately,” Jason continues. “I proceeded to take three more ECGs to rule out any false positives, but each one reported AFib with a resting heart rate above 160 bpm.”

Convinced by the watch, Jason and his parents went to the nearest emergency room where medical officials confirmed his mother was experiencing AFib. It was there that his mother was told that immediate treatment was required...

“I’m happy to report that after a stay in hospital, and a number of different medications prescribed that she has to take for the rest of her life, she’s absolutely fine,” Jason tells us. “The NHS specialists that looked after her said that if it wasn’t for the Apple Watch, there’s a high probability she wouldn’t have made it through the rest of the day.”

My take: Friend-of-the-blog Bart Yee has been communicating with the son and may have more to add.

12 Comments

  1. Bart Yee said:
    If one reads the comments on 9to5Mac, some readers questioned parents inability to “just” go to nearest ER, or why the BP machine didn’t alert a rapid heart rate, or why Jason didn’t order them to go to ER without him. So I DM’ed Jason on Twitter and he graciously responded to these and other question and have permission to post them here:

    “Hi Bart,

    Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, for some reason I wasn’t alerted you’d DM’d me.

    I’ve just had a read through of the comments and they’re interesting to say the least!

    Essentially what happened was my mum felt really unwell but they were on the way to a wedding anniversary and as you’ve quite rightly said she wanted to ignore there was anything wrong because she felt “much better now” and that they needed to get to this Anniversary meal.

    My dad rang me despite my mum saying she didn’t want him to and that he should keep driving to Chester, luckily he could see she wasn’t right and called me anyway. Mum is quite the stubborn lady so wouldn’t admit there was an issue.

    I took the BP machine from home because she does have a history of high BP and has been on tablets for many years, but is completely under control. It was a quick and easy way to rule out a potential cause.

    Interestingly the BP machine showed her HR in the 70-80 BPM range despite the Apple Watch showing it varying hugely between 100 – 180BPM. Whether the BP machine is faulty or it couldn’t pick up the change in HR as quickly as the Apple Watch, I’m not sure.

    I don’t have a medical background but do try and keep as up to date on things as a layman can do, I’m always the first port of call for my parents.
    If I’d have said to go to the hospital straight away there’s no chance she would have gone unfortunately.

    I’m by no means saying that the Apple Watch did something spectacular that no other ECG device could have done, but the best device is the one you have with you which was my Apple Watch.

    I hope the above helps explain things a little better.

    Jason”

    4
    September 22, 2022
    • Bart Yee said:
      “Of course, I’ve no problem with you quoting my reply.

      Unfortunately it seems that most of the commenters have decided this event either didn’t happen or I’ve been reckless in not telling them to go directly to the ER.

      One of the replies from “Carl, MD” has even gone as far as to say what I did was incorrect and made him cringe, then later on saying he did the same with one of his patients.

      Luckily I’m not the type that’s affected by what the comments say, it’s just disappointing that the majority seem to jump straight away to “he’s an idiot” type of response.”

      3
      September 22, 2022
      • Bart Yee said:
        Me – “It’s the nature of these tech sites. On Pro Apple sites there’s plenty of anti-Apple people trolling and saying these can’t possibly be real. If you follow Apple, you’ll find many “Dear Apple” YouTube videos / advertising by Apple, and of course many news stories, mostly US but also internationally, about Apple Watch helping many situations. This was stressed in Apple’s September event which I’m sure you saw. A search for “Apple Watch saves” or smartwatch saves will turn up multiple stories, vast majority Apple Watch because of high adoption and use. Oddly, even though many other devices like Samsung Watch and Garmin or Fitbit, not many stories involving them for some reason.

        The trolls claim all of the stories are created or promoted by Apple public relations and neatly appear when Apple wants to boost sales or introducing new models. Of course, most stories actually are reported by local news outlets and picked up by the tech sites. It’s worse on Android-centric sites.

        I’m quite sure your story will begin circulating worldwide soon, such is social media and the tech world. A search on your name or mom’s name and Apple Watch may prove interesting!! Be ready for lots of inquiries! 8 sites already aggregating the story!”

        Jason – “Yes I’ve seen quite a few of the Dear Apple videos, I actually emailed Tim Cook directly to thank him (as much as one can) and he replied personally which was really nice.

        I’ve just done a Google on my name + Apple Watch and it does seem like a numbers of sites have picked up on it.

        We can only hope that those inquiries are as friendly as yours!”

        As of 12:00am, Sept. 22, multiple sites have aggregated the story through UK, US, India, Singapore, France, and many other countries.

        3
        September 22, 2022
        • Gregg Thurman said:
          On [FREE] Pro Apple sites there’s plenty of anti-Apple people trolling

          For me it’s worth $20/month to avoid trolls’ unthinking hatred of all things Apple.

          I sometimes think the trolls are fake accounts created by site moderators to whip up response count.

          6
          September 22, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      “but the best device is the one you have with you which was my Apple Watch.” This!!

      3
      September 22, 2022
  2. Bart Yee said:
    Finally, a gentle pitch:
    Me – “Heh, thank you! I’m not surprised Tim Cook responded to you, he is an important reason why I support and am invested in Apple, because he represents the principles and philosophy of what Apple has been and will be. He’s a very decent person.

    If you or your family has not been invested in AAPL stock, I strongly suggest acquiring some if possible. Despite recent macroeconomic hurdles worldwide and in the US, AAPL has fared better than most. It recently dropped back to $148 from a 2022 high of $183 due to the Russian – Ukraine war and subsequent inflation jitters worldwide. Eventually, this will pass and Apple will be poised to grow with products and services to serve its current 1.1 Billion iPhone users (and growing) and 1.8 Billion Apple users worldwide.

    I’m a subscriber of the PED3.0 investor blog website and recommend that site to you for review, you can view the site for free on a few hours delay of breaking stories and posts.

    (PED 3.0 website link)”

    3
    September 22, 2022
    • Bart Yee said:
      Jason’s reply – “I couldn’t agree more, I like where Tim Cook is taking Apple and the principles he sticks to.

      I am also an investor in AAPL :-).

      Me – Ah, already a forward thinker, I should have known!

      4
      September 22, 2022
  3. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Yay!
    Thanks for sharing the wonderful correspondence between you & Mr. Jason, Bart!
    Boo to the trolls!

    6
    September 22, 2022

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