From Fitness Tracker to Lifesaver: Apple Watch Finds Hidden Heart Condition in User

2 min read
11 months ago

A new report from the BBC highlights what is only the latest instance of a person’s Apple Watch alerting them to a potentially deadly heart condition. Adam Croft, a 36-year-old from Bedfordshire, recounted the experience: “It’s not a feature I’d ever expected to use.”

In the interview, Croft explained that he went to bed one night after experiencing dizziness and other symptoms:

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Croft said he had got up from the sofa one evening and “felt a bit dizzy” but when he got to the kitchen to get some water he “immediately felt the world closing in.”

“I managed to get down on the floor and ended up in a pool of cold sweat,” he said. “Being a man I thought not much of it and took myself up to bed.”

The next morning, however, Croft woke up to find alerts on his Apple Watch warning him that the device had detected atrial fibrillation. He then called emergency services, who instructed him to “get to the hospital within the hour.”

At Bedford Hospital, additional testing confirmed that Croft was in atrial fibrillation. Without the alert from his Apple Watch, Croft said he likely wouldn’t have gone to the hospital.

The writer said he had previously had “little flutterings” of the heart, which his watch had not picked up, but these had not happened for months. He had also “never had any pain or symptoms that I thought were serious”.

He added that he would not have called the NHS 111 service, where people can get advice about symptoms and treatment, if the watch had not alerted him.

“I had no reason to,” he said. “I just felt a bit light-headed… I had been feeling a bit rough so thought I might be coming down with something.”

After testing confirmed the atrial fibrillation, doctors put Croft on blood thinners. He will now go through what is called a cardioversion procedure, which will use “quick, low-energy shocks to restore a regular heart rhythm.”

“The watch will be staying on now,” Croft concluded.

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