“Bestselling Author Receives Alert from Apple Watch Indicating Irregular Heart Rhythm”

Apple Watch saves man’s life by detecting irregular heart rhythm

Adam Croft, a 36-year-old bestselling author from Flitwick, Bedfordshire, was saved by his Apple Watch which alerted him every two hours that his heart was in an irregular rhythm. One evening, he woke from the sofa feeling dizzy, got a drink of water from the kitchen, and immediately felt the world closing in. He then struggled and ended up in a pool of cold sweat on the floor. He went to bed, waking the next morning only to discover that his Apple Watch had been alerting him every two hours that his heart was in atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular rhythm that can lead to blood clots, strokes and death.

AFib leads to hospital visit and treatment

Croft called 111, the UK’s national health service helpline, and was told to get to the hospital within the hour. He went to Bedford Hospital which ran two electrocardiograms (ECGs) to confirm that the Apple Watch had correctly detected AFib, a condition that could have gone unnoticed. Croft was prescribed blood thinners and is on a cardioversion procedure that uses quick, low-energy shocks to correct the rhythm of his heart.

Apple Watch ECG feature unexpected but lifesaving

Croft said that had his Apple Watch not alerted him to the irregular heart rhythms he was experiencing, he wouldn’t have called the National Health Service’s 111 number. “It’s not a feature I’d ever expected to use,” he said.

Wearable devices can be helpful but are not a replacement for medical advice

According to Chloe MacArthur, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, AFib can be a serious condition, especially if left untreated. She says that while devices like the Apple Watch are useful, those receiving alerts that something is wrong still need to see a doctor. “Wearable devices can be helpful for improving exercise habits and eating behaviors and they can provide motivation to lead a healthier lifestyle – all of which contribute to lowering the risk of heart disease – but they are not a replacement for medical advice, and they cannot provide a diagnosis,” she said.

Symptoms of AFib

MacArthur notes symptoms of atrial fibrillation can be noticeable, including palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, feeling faint, unexplained tiredness and difficulty exercising. Anyone concerned about their heart health should speak to their doctor.