Apple Watch helps diagnose something it wasn’t designed to find

A Cleveland man has credited the Apple Watch with saving his life, after a series of different alerts led him to seek medical attention.

In October, Ken Counihan was informed by his Apple Watch that his breathing was elevated. The wearable device indicated that he had gone from an average of 14 breaths per minute to about 18 per minute.

“My wife made a phone call to my son and suggested I go to outpatient care, get her looked at, which is what I did,” Counihan said. News 5 Cleveland. “And they just did an x-ray. And they gave me some bronchitis medicine at the time.”

While I thought that was it, the Apple Watch generated a connected alert, which prompted further testing.

“My blood oxygen, which is normally in the mid-90s, which is what it’s supposed to be, kind of 95 and up, started going out in the mid-80s,” he explained. The night alert didn’t worry the man, but at the urging of his worried family, he went to the emergency room again.

Using the numbers he had gleaned from the Apple Watch, doctors ordered more scans and discovered blood clots in his lungs. His doctor advised that, had he not sought help, approximately 60% of people at this stage might not have survived the night.

Now for the blood thinners, Counihan is happy and grateful that the Apple Watch has pointed him in the right direction. While the Apple Watch can’t directly diagnose medical problems, it seems the various alerts and metrics it collects about a user were enough to point doctors in the right direction.

“I have friends who have gone out and bought an Apple Watch as a result,” he said in the report. “I just had dinner with a friend the other night and now he’s looking for an Apple Watch too. It saved my life. It’s amazing.”

The Apple Watch has been repeatedly cited as a catalyst for life-saving assistance since its launch. Earlier in March, it helped a British author discover an undiagnosed heart problem, while the accident detection feature helped doctors reach a vehicle involved in a car accident in Germany, after it had been thrown 60 feet below the road.

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