Can a smartwach save your life?

TECH RADAR, JAN 2018

Many of us are used to our wearable devices telling us we need to get more sleep, sending us a little badge for beating our personal best running times or applauding us for hitting 10,000 steps.
 
But what about a wearable alerting you to a serious health problem that ultimately saves your life?
 
Thanks to advances in sensors, newly-approved accessories and improved deep-learning software, a future in which our wearables become as important as our doctors isn’t far off.
 
We spoke to Rachael Fisher, a Customer Service Advisor for recycling company Bywaters, who last year had her life potentially saved by a wearable.
 
“I decided to randomly check my heartbeat to see what my resting BPM was using the Apple Watch. However, to my shock it was showing it was 140/150bpm (the average is between 70 to 100bpm),” Fisher told us.
 
“I thought this was a one off, but as the weeks progressed into months, I realized that my heart was never slowing down,” she said. “Because of this, I had a blood test and it became clear that I have an overactive thyroid, so severe that my doctor said I could have had a heart attack at any moment. I am now on beta blockers and other medication which is slowing my heart down, thankfully.”
 
Fisher’s story is remarkable, but she’s not alone. Similar stories about how a mainstream wearable device has alerted users to an issue that proved life-saving have made headlines in recent months.