Apple Watch saves life by spotting AFib just days after new ECG feature launched in Germany
A German man has credited his Apple Watch for saving his life by detecting signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a potentially deadly heart condition that can cause strokes. The man, who wished to remain anonymous, emailed his story to Dr Michael Spehr, a journalist at FAZ newspaper, who shared it on Twitter.
The man said he received an Apple Watch Series 4 as a gift and decided to try out the new ECG feature that was launched in Europe last week. The feature allows users to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) with their watch, which can detect irregular heart rhythms such as AFib.
To his surprise, the Apple Watch kept reporting AFib readings, even though he had never noticed any symptoms before. He consulted a doctor friend who dismissed it as a measurement error, but he decided to visit his physician anyway. There, he had a 12-channel ECG that confirmed the diagnosis of AFib.
The physician prescribed him beta blockers, a type of medication that can lower the heart rate and prevent blood clots from forming. The man said he was grateful to his Apple Watch for alerting him to his condition and prolonging his life.
AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the UK, affecting an estimated 1.5 million people. It can increase the risk of stroke by five times, as well as cause heart failure and dementia. According to the AFA, AFib accounts for nearly 6 million days in hospital beds and costs the UK Â£2.2 billion every year.
The Apple Watch ECG feature has been praised by cardiologists as a useful tool for screening and monitoring AFib, especially for people who are asymptomatic or unaware of their condition. However, they also caution that the feature is not a substitute for a professional medical diagnosis or treatment, and that users should consult their doctors if they have any concerns about their heart health.
The ECG feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later models uses a titanium electrode in the Digital Crown and a layer of chromium silicon carbon nitride on the back of the watch to record a single-lead ECG similar to a Lead I ECG. The user simply needs to touch the Digital Crown with their finger for 30 seconds and the watch will generate an ECG waveform and a classification of sinus rhythm, atrial fibrillation, atrial fibrillation with high heart rate, or inconclusive.
The ECG app can help users identify signs of AFib that may otherwise go unnoticed. AFib is a common type of irregular heart rhythm that affects millions of people worldwide. It can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other complications. However, many people with AFib do not experience any symptoms and may not be aware of their condition until they have a serious event.
The ECG app on the Apple Watch has received clearance from the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world. It is intended for users who are 22 years or older and have no prior history of AFib. The app is not designed to detect other types of arrhythmias or heart conditions, such as heart attacks. It is also not a replacement for a professional medical diagnosis or treatment. Users should always consult their doctors if they have any concerns about their heart health. ec8f644aee