How Apple Watch data helped this man discover he had life-threatening blood clots

We hear a lot of stories from Apple Watch customers who say the gadget has alerted them to doubtlessly life-threatening well being points. A brand new story out of Ohio, nonetheless, is without doubt one of the first of its type.

Ken Counihan says {that a} mixture of respiratory charge and blood oxygen information from his Apple Watch alerted him to a doubtlessly deadly situation final fall…

Apple Watch’s respiratory charge and blood oxygen information

As reported by native information affiliate News5 in Cleveland, Ohio, Counihan is an avid Apple Watch person, counting on the gadget for exercise monitoring, sleep monitoring, and way more. Final October, nonetheless, he observed that his respiratory charge was elevated. Your respiratory charge is the variety of breaths you are taking per minute, and an elevated quantity can sign a number of potential health issues.

The Apple Watch is ready to monitor your respiratory rate when you sleep. Since Counihan wears his Apple Look ahead to sleep monitoring, the Well being app was in a position to acquire his respiratory charge and search for developments and adjustments in these developments. The Well being app presents a “Well being Tendencies” function, which might notify you when there’s a change in a selected metric.

In his case, Counihan determined to go to outpatient care, the place he had an X-Ray finished and in the end received despatched dwelling with bronchitis medication.

“I received an alert again in October that my respiration was elevated. So mainly you might have a sure variety of breaths per minute, mainly stated I went from 14 to 17 or 18,” Counihan stated. “My spouse had me make a cellphone name to my son and he steered I’m going to the outpatient care, get it checked out, which is what I did. They usually simply did an X-ray. They usually gave me some meds for bronchitis on the time.”

Later that day, nonetheless, Counihan obtained one other alert on his Apple Watch: his blood oxygen stage was falling. “My blood oxygen — which is often mid-90s, which is what is meant to be, type of 95 and up — began to get out to the mid-80s,” he stated. On the request of his household, Counihan then reluctantly went to the emergency room.

Utilizing the numbers he offered from the Apple Watch, plus further vitals collected within the ER, docs ordered a CT scan. This CT scan is what revealed the underlying reason for Counihan’s signs. “They took me again to the CT scan and located that I had blood clots throughout my lungs,” he stated.

Counihan was then prescribed blood thinners and is “feeling a lot better,” and he credit the Apple Watch with saving his life. He says docs advised him that if he’d gone to mattress as a substitute of coming to the ER that night time, he “might not have woken up the subsequent morning.”

“What the physician stated as a follow-up was it if I hadn’t gone in, he stated 60% of the those that have this situation at that stage—if I gone to mattress, I could not have woken up the subsequent morning,” Counihan stated.

“I’ve received three children and two grandkids, hopefully some extra grandkids within the subsequent couple years, I simply wish to proceed to get pleasure from that,” Counihan stated. “I’ve received mates which have gone out and acquired an Apple Watch because of this. I simply had dinner with a good friend the opposite night time…and he’s seeking to get an Apple Watch now as nicely. It saved my life. It’s superb.”

Dr. Lucy Franjic, an emergency medical doctor at Cleveland Clinic, echoed Counihan’s reward for the Apple Watch:

“We do have sufferers that are available and so they do discover these developments of ‘my coronary heart charge’s greater than standard’ or ‘it’s displaying me that… I’m having an irregular rhythm,’” Franjic stated. “And so having these items of data can type of simply assist the doctor to attempt to diagnose what the underlying challenge is and to assist forestall any life-threatening emergencies from occurring.”

That is an fascinating take a look at how two items of knowledge collected by the Apple Watch can be utilized in tandem to alert somebody to greater well being issues. The Apple Watch itself, after all, can’t alert somebody to a possible blood clot, however it will probably present the perception essential to immediate somebody to hunt additional medical care.

This additionally marks one of many first – if not the primary – instances we’ve seen the blood oxygen function of the Apple Watch used for one thing like this. Apple itself says the blood oxygen function is “solely designed for normal health and wellness functions,” however the information can clearly nonetheless be broadly helpful as a reference level for different well being points.

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