This guy's Apple Watch actually saved his life
Back in September of 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the Apple Watch, with its release being a little over six months later. At the time, after the release of several record-breaking editions of the iPhone and iPad, it seemed Apple could do no wrong, and the device quickly became the best-selling wearable device of all time.
At the time, however, I was not convinced.
Setting the average Apple fanatic back around £400 without much of the communication capabilities or generous screen size that the rest of the portable Apple tech enjoys, I laughed in the face of a friend of mine who bought one. "I don't think it's worth it," I said. "I mean, it's not like an Apple Watch is going to have any kind of profound effect on your life."
I now owe that guy an apology.
James Green, a podcast maker and reporter who lives in Manhattan, New York, says he owes his very existence to his Apple Watch, and it's a very good example of the positive effect the latest technological age can have on all of our lives.
Unlike the iPad or the iPhone, which both run on the mobile operating system known as iOS, the Apple Watch uses something else entirely; with all of your wearable watch tech being presented to you on the watchOS platform. The fourth edition of watchOS comes with a pretty nifty third party app known as HeartWatch.
HeartWatch allows the wearer to receive timely updates on their heart rate, alerting the user to any unusual spikes or patterns in heart activity. Pretty useful, I think you'll agree, and this rang especially true for Green as he experienced a rather unexpected brush with mortality.
Green was just going about his day as normal, when he kept getting persistent notifications from his phone, and before long, he realised that something was wrong.
"I got an alert from Heart Watch that my heart rate was continually above my resting heart rate of 54, even when I was just sitting at my desk. That along with other symptoms I was having was enough data I needed to act on it, and realise it wasn’t a panic attack (since I have severe generalised anxiety), that it was something more."
Green decided to follow up on the HeartWatch notification, and when he got to hospital, Green was told he had something called a pulmonary embolism, which is not only an unexpected spike in heart rate, but an actual blocking of the arteries. Without the intervention of HeartWatch, Green said his doctor told him that had he waited any longer, "it would have been fatal".
As you can imagine, the creator of HeartWatch, David Walsh, is glad that his app has been able to save somebody's life. He created the app after losing his father at age 56 to a sudden heart attack, and is delighted to hear of all the success stories.
"Over the last few years, the stories I hear about how the app and the Apple Watch have changed people’s lives and sometimes saved their lives are truly heartwarming. What’s also interesting is that I also added an ability to let people share their data with their doctors and this has been incredibly popular."
We wish James Green the speediest of recoveries from his pulmonary embolism, but for the rest of us, it's a great example of how technology can be used beyond the basic social media interaction and communication and used to do something even better. Stay safe out there, you guys.