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Man Says Apple Watch Series 4 ECG Feature Detected His AFib, Saving His Life

Man Says Apple Watch Series 4 ECG Feature Detected His AFib, Saving His Life

Nashua, N.H. says his Apple Watch Series 4 saved his life, after it detected previously undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).


Barry Maden thought he was just experiencing anxiety around traveling for the holiday, but his new Apple Watch alerted him that it was something much more serious.

The self-described “tech geek” said he bought the watch in part to keep a closer eye on his health after suffering a brain injury.

“He originally got it because they have a new fall risk app where, if he were to fall and I’m not nearby, the fall sensor will sense that he fell and call 911,” his wife, Tara Maden told WMUR.

However, to his surprise, the Apple Watch warned him about his heart condition, prompting a visit to the doctor.

“And it said, ‘It looks like your heart is in AFIB. You should contact your doctor,” Maden said.

He went to a hospital emergency room, where he was given a full-scale electrocardiogram, which confirmed the Watch’s warning. Doctor’s restarted Maden’s heart under sedation.

“It would’ve probably taken me longer had I not had something actually telling me that something’s not right,” said Maden.

Now, the small piece of technology seems like an even greater gift to the Madens.

“Instead of just being a toy or a tchotchke, I think I’ll probably pay closer attention to it,” Maden said.

His wife said she feels grateful and blessed.

The Apple Watch Series 4 boasts a built-in ECG feature, which allows users to load an ECG app and hold a finger on the digital crown for 30 seconds. The device acts as a single-lead ECG, intended to detect AFib in affected users. Earlier Watch models have optical heart sensors, but the Series 4’s ECG technology can provide more data.

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