Sure, the Apple Watch Series 4 ECG feature gets all of the headlines, but a recent bit of news shows how the wearable’s high and low resting heart rate alerts are also saving lives. A 48-year-old father of three recently discovered he had ventricular bigeminy, thanks to his Watch’s warnings, and was able to get possibly life-saving surgery to correct the condition before it caused any issues.
The Telegraph reports that Paul Hutton kept receiving multiple low resting heart rate warnings on his Apple Watch. He ended up asking his doctor about the alerts. The doctor confirmed Hutton did suffer from a low heart rate.
Initially, the doctor’s plan was to have Hutton remove caffeine from his diet to resolve the issue. When that didn’t fix the problem, as Hutton continued to receive low heart rate alerts from his Apple Watch, he went to a specialist that diagnosed him with ventricular bigeminy. Ventricular bigeminy is when the heart includes extra beats, usually weaker ones that are considered a premature ventricular contractions, which can cause the heart to pump blood less effectively.
Hutton had a procedure called a cardiac ablation to resolve the condition. In an ablation, the doctors attempt to burn tiny areas of faulty heart tissue to correct the extra beats. Hutton was sedated but fully awake during the procedure.
He says since recovering from the surgery he’s been keeping an eye on his heart rate via his Apple Watch, and everything is looking good so far.
While the high and low heart rate notifications feature is available on the Apple Watch Series 1 and later, the ECG app is available only on the Apple Watch Series 4.
By the way, for your future reference, The Mayo Clinic says the normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. However, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute. Mine is 60 BPM, but I have a Pacemaker, so there’s that.