Apple Watch helps diagnose things it wasn’t designed to do

Apple Watch

A Cleveland resident believes the Apple Watch saved his life after a series of different warnings forced him to seek medical attention.

In October, the Apple Watch told Ken Cunihan that his breathing was fast. The wearable device reported that its average breaths per minute dropped from 14 to about 18 per minute.

“My wife asked me to call my son, and he suggested that I go to the outpatient department to be examined, which I did,” Cunihan told News 5 Cleveland. “They did an x-ray. And at one time they gave me some medicine for bronchitis.

While he thought that was it, the Apple Watch raised a connection alert, prompting further testing.

“Oxygen in my blood — which is usually in the mid-90s, like it should be, like 95 and up — started to go out by the mid-80s,” he explained. The late-night alert didn’t bother the man, but at the urging of a worried family, he went back to the emergency room.

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

Now on to blood thinners, Cunihan is happy and grateful that the Apple Watch pointed him in the right direction. While the Apple Watch can’t directly diagnose medical issues, it seems like the various alerts and metrics it collects about the wearer were enough to point doctors in the right direction.

“I have friends who went 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 wants to buy an Apple Watch too. It saved my life. It’s amazing”.

The Apple Watch has been repeatedly cited as a catalyst for helping to save lives since its release. Earlier in March, she helped a British writer discover an undiagnosed heart problem, and collision detection helped medics reach a car involved in a car accident in Germany after it was thrown 60 feet under a road.