Phil Harrison was training for the Brighton Marathon when he started experiencing heart palpitations that wouldn’t stop. He used the ECG app on his Apple Watch Series 4 to attempt to detect what was wrong. Harrison says this happened back in April, when the ECG app had only been available in the U.K. for one week when he used it.
On the 5th of April I was getting palpitations all of a sudden which didn’t seem to stop. While wearing my Apple Watch Series 4, which had just had the ECG function just released a week before, I thought I would use it just to see what was happening. When it flagged up with an atrial fibrillation warning it made me more concerned with what was happening.
The ECG app result spurred Harrison to seek medical attention. His visit led to open heart surgery.
With a series of events which ended up with me in accident and emergency that evening to being told that I shouldn’t do the marathon which was only 10 days away just on a precaution, to now 2 and a half months later after a series of tests being told I need to have a valve repair surgery via open heart surgery sooner rather than later which is currently booked for Wednesday 3rd of July.
Harrison credits his Apple Watch with saving his life:
But I do know that without my series 4 watch just giving me a little kick to get to A&E I may not be here today as I would have done everything to run that marathon which most likely would have killed me let alone ignoring the symptoms to the point of heart failure (blokes I know).
This is just the latest story of how the Apple Watch has detected and warned users of health issues they weren’t previously aware of. When the ECG app originally launched, it was limited to the United States. The functionality is now slowly rolling out to the rest of the world.
Apple Watch Series 4 ECG functionality is now available in the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Puerto Rico
- United Kingdom
- United States
- US Virgin Islands