Apple Watch ECG featureSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • An 80-year-old German Patient was given life-saving treatment thanks to their Apple Watch.
  • They were admitted to the hospital with chest pains.
  • Their Apple Watch ECG revealed signs of severe coronary ischemia.

A German patient was given life-saving heart surgery, after showing their ECG readings from their Apple Watch to doctors.

According to EurekAlert:

The passionate Apple Watch wearer showed up in the Chest Pain Unit of the University Medical Center Mainz and complained about typical chest pain, irregular pulse and an intermittent presyncopies - all possible symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) and thus possible harbingers of a heart attack. The ECG recorded in the CPU as well as the results from blood testing were normal. Then, the patient presented ECG recordings to the cardiologists, which had previously been made with her watch. These recordings showed signs of marked, so-called ST segment depression - a clear sign for severe coronary ischemia.

Thanks to the readings, the doctors were able to administer the patient with life-saving surgery, namely a heart catheterization. They discovered a severe coronary artery disease, both main stem stenosis, and a bifurcation lesion, successfully treating them with ballooning and stent implants. The patient was discharged "symptom-free" just two days later.

Two of the Doctors involved stated:

"As many experts and patients as possible worldwide should know that the Apple Watch ECG app can be used to diagnose cardiac arrhythmias and it may also be able to detect coronary ischemia. When used appropriately, the digital diagnostic aids may prevent myocardial infarctions and save many lives - as in the case of the 80-year-old patient from Mainz. One could say it like this: An Apple a day may keep myocardial infarction away."

Apple introduced electrocardiograms to Apple Watch with the Series 4 model, using an electrical heart sensor to measure heartbeat and rhythm. The technology can help detect diseases such as atrial fibrillation.