Apple Watch saves another life after diagnosing heart disease in a doctor

ECG results on Apple Watch Series 4
ECG results on Apple Watch Series 4 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Dr. Donald W Milne was short of breath and used his Apple Watch to run an ECG.
  • He noticed something was wrong and was referred to a cardiologist.
  • He's now waiting for a five vessel bypass and aortic valve replacement.

Apple Watch has already been proven to have saved countless lives and the streak continued when Dr. Donald W Milne spotted something wasn't right with his Apple Watch's ECG report. He ran an ECG because he felt out of breath during a workout.

Speaking with 9to5Mac, the doctor explained the whole story – including an amazing outcome.

I have the first generation of the Apple Watch to be able to do heart monitoring. I know that the primary intended use is to monitor for atrial fibrillation. As a 66 year old anesthesiologist I use my watch for many occasions.However a number of months ago I was working out on an elliptical machine, And I experienced more shortness of breath than usual for a workout. I used the ECG function to take an ECG at that time.I observed ST segment depression on the tracing. That resolved and returned to normal with rest. This was again documented by the tracings.I had no history of any heart disease prior to this incident.An appointment with my primary care physician obtained a resting ECG in her office that was normal. However upon showing the tracing with the ischemia she agreed and referred me to a cardiologist at John Muir Concord hospital .He agreed as well with the assessment and upon having an angiogram yesterday the finding of critical diffuse coronary artery disease was found and I am now scheduled for a 5 vessel bypass and aortic valve replacement on July 13 2020.

Dr. Milne now believes that the Apple Watch saved his life, saying that "without the Apple Watch tracing I would never have known I had disease in time to be able to intervene before having a potentially fatal heart attack". Sure, it needed him to the signs in the ECG readout, but the fact he could run the ECG at all is what saved his life here. And that's amazing.

Everyone at iMore wishes Dr. Milne all the best with his surgery and recovery!

Oliver Haslam

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.