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Apple Watch again successfully identifies AFib, alerts unsuspecting owner

Apple Watch Afib Notification
Apple Watch Afib Notification (Image credit: u/Merrick63)

What you need to know

  • An Apple Watch warned its wearer of a potentially life-threatening heart rhythm issue and they were able to seek medical assistance.

A Reddit user credits their Apple Watch with saving them from a potential stroke after it correctly identified that their heart's rhythm was irregular.

Redditor u/FaceDeChu says that they felt unwell during the daytime last week before their Apple Watch alerted them of potential atrial fibrillation (AFib). After visiting a hospital, the diagnosis was confirmed.

Felt like crap on Wednesday but by the evening felt better. While watching tv with my SO, my watch starts with a weird warning sound and I check it. There's an AFib warning so I record the ECG and notify my doctor. She tells me to come right over and while going, I get 2 more warnings. Doctor sends me to emerg to get a full workup...diagnosed with AFib and am now on a blood thinner. The doctors at emerg scoffed at the Apple Watch ECG saying it wasn't accurate enough to use as a diagnostic tool. I retorted that at least it warned me to get medical assistance whereas without the watch I could have had a stroke. I was skeptical before this incident but after the watch saved me, I now praise it's value to everyone I can!

Here's how Apple describes AFib.

AFib is a type of irregular heart rhythm. AFib occurs when the heart beats in an irregular pattern. It's a common form of irregular heart rhythm where the upper chambers of the heart beat out of sync with the lower chambers.According to the CDC, approximately 2% of people younger than 65 years old and 9% of people 65 and older have AFib. Irregularities in heart rhythm become more common as people get older. Some individuals with AFib don't experience any symptoms. Others experience symptoms that could include rapid heartbeat, palpitations, fatigue, or shortness of breath.

This of course isn't the first time that Apple Watch has potentially saved a life and it will surely not be the last. It's also another example of doctors saying that an Apple Watch isn't "accurate enough to use as a diagnostic tool."

How many more lives need to be saved before that myth is busted? If you're an Apple Watch owner and aren't sure whether you have AFib notifications enabled, here's our guide all about the feature.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.