Apple expanded the availability of the Apple Watch Series 4 ECG feature to Hong Kong and parts of Europe just last week, and has already been credited with saving a life. There have been numerous reports of similar incidents across the US, and the wearable continues to prove itself as a potentially life-saving device. The feature reportedly detected signs of atrial fibrillation in a European man.
Dr. Michael Spher of Germany’s FAZ Newspaper, received a testimonial via Twitter, praising the feature. The review alleged that the Apple Watch and ECG app detected a previously undiagnosed heart condition. The unnamed user claimed they viewed the ECG function as one specified for hypochondriacs, but tested the feature with the release of watchOS 5.2, anyway.
The latest update activated ECG hardware on Series 4 units in Hong Kong and select European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The feature has been available in the US since December.
In this instance, the customer said multiple readings on their Apple Watch displayed signs of atrial fibrillation – a condition that had previously gone undetected by physicians. Sceptical that such a reading was accurate; the user consulted a physician who confirmed the readings were correct following a 12-channel ECG. The patient was then prescribed beta blockers in order to treat the AFib diagnosis.
Afterwards, the customer said: “It’s true, the Watch contributed to prolonging my life.”
Of course, this report is one of a long-running series of testimonials from Apple Watch customers who have also been alerted to AFib readings as a result of the ECG app. The app recently alerted a Seattle man of the condition.