ECG sensors in wearables have slowly come to become an important feature. Today the sensor defines the difference between fitness trackers and health-oriented wearables that can actually help save lives. That being said, the single-lead ECG sensors in wearables like the Apple Watch aren’t as accurate as of the ECG sensors one would find in a clinic.
Yet, a strange new tale has surfaced where the underlying heart condition of an 80-year old woman was detected on an Apple Watch. Strangely, the same condition was missed by a hospital’s ECG. As per a report by The European Heart Journal the case belongs to a woman from Mainz, Germany. The woman went to the University Medical Center Mainz, Germany. She complained of chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and a feeling of lightheadedness.
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The doctors conducted the standard 12-channel ECG examination of the woman to find no evidence for ischemia. Ischemia is a cardiac disease that occurs when blood flow to the heart decreases, creating a lack of oxygen in the heart. However, the woman showed the doctors her ECG results from the Apple Watch she was wearing. Upon having a look at the wearable’s ECG readings, the woman was found to have evidence of myocardial ischemia.
The woman was then transferred to the catheterization lab. She received “left main stem stenosis and a left anterior descending/diagonal bifurcation lesion,” and treatment with coronary artery stenting. The Apple Watch readings showed the evidence of a heart condition that the hospital’s specialized equipment had, for some reason, failed to pick. The woman after receiving treatment left the hospital the very next day before something serious could even happen.
Not the first time an Apple Watch has saved a life
The case is the latest of several similar cases where the Apple Watch readings have alerted users of an underlying condition well ahead of time. This allowed people to get themselves checked and treated before the minute symptoms turned into something serious. We still don’t know which exact wearable the woman possessed. However, considering it could take ECG readings, it must have been either the Apple Watch Series 4 or 5.