When we think about life-saving technology, it’s usually the medical-grade kind that you’ll find in state-of-the-art hospitals.
But thanks to Apple, many have had that tech at their fingertips without even realising its benefits, until something went wrong.
Bob March took a trip with his wife Lori last year to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
He’s an avid runner, so she gave him an Apple Watch to replace his chest strap heart rate monitor.
Via Men’s Health, he put on the device to test it out on a walk with Lori, and was surprised when his heart rate reading came back much higher than normal.
“I never had any signs something was off with my heart,” he says. “As soon as I put it on, my reading was 127 beats at a resting rate. I thought, ‘This doesn’t work! We better take it back’.”
Except it was working, and recording bizarre fluctuations in his heart rate, so his wife insisted that he go in for a check-up.
At the appointment, the nurse conducted an EKG, and shortly thereafter a doctor was in the room saying that he needed to be admitted immediately.
He was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm and would need to undergo a cardiac ablation procedure.
“I had run three miles that morning and I felt fine. I live a healthy life, eat right, don’t have a lot of salt in my diet—I thought I was healthy as a horse before I went into the hospital,” he says.
The surgery was a success and a few months later he was back to daily runs.
March is the latest in a long line of people, per CNET, who have come forward with stories about how their lives were potentially saved by an Apple Watch.
In 2019, Toralv Østvang’s Apple Watch Series 4 used ‘fall detection’ technology, picked up his fall in the bathroom, and notified emergency services when it didn’t perceive any movement after one minute.
That same year, James Prudenciano broke his back while hiking. The Apple Watch Series 5 that he was wearing, equipped with an automatic SOS feature, detected that he had taken a hard fall, and alerted rescue services.
In 2020, after she and her son were in a car accident, Kacie Anderson couldn’t get to her phone. Instead, she hit the digital crown on her Apple Watch, told Siri to call 911, and was rescued. Rescue services used her Watch to locate her.
Heather Hendershot’s Apple Watch alerted her to her high heart rate, which led to the diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening disease, and Jason Saucier was able to get help on time when he went into cardiac arrest because his watch had told him that he was in atrial fibrillation
Apple has, over the years, teamed up with multiple major healthcare organisations to learn more about our bodies and ultimately improve the tech in their products to help people stay healthy.
True to form, the company has once again stepped up their game with the latest additions to the Apple Watch family.
The Apple Watch Series 6, powered by the S6 chip (a dual-core processor based on the acclaimed A 13 Bionic), has added a new health sensor that can measure your blood oxygen using an infrared sensor. The screen also gets 2,5 times brighter outdoors, making it easier to read.
Released at the same time, the Apple Watch SE is a lower-priced model, but still comes equipped with a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, an always-on altimeter, and fall detection.
If you’re keen to get your hands on a new Apple Watch or upgrade to the latest generation, here’s a handy tip.
Digicape, South Africa’s largest independent Apple retailer, allows you to trade in up to five devices, and you can even get a quote online before you haul them into a store.
iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or Apple TV products all qualify, and getting a quote is as simple as filling in a form.
If you’re happy with the quote, you can bring the devices into a Digicape store, where a physical inspection will be completed and a final trade-in offer presented.
That can be used for store credit for a later purchase, or used as a discount on a new Apple Watch right away.
If the stories above tell us anything, it’s that an Apple Watch isn’t just a fun gadget (it is), but also an investment in your wellbeing.
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