Apple Watch helps diagnose something it wasn’t designed to find

A Cleveland man has credited the Apple Watch with saving his life after a series of alerts prompted him to seek medical attention.

In October, Ken Counihan was informed by his Apple Watch that his breathing was elevated. The wearable device said he had gone from an average of 14 breaths per minute to about 18 per minute.

“My wife had me call my son and he suggested I go to the outpatient clinic and get it checked out, which is what I did,” Counihan said. News 5 Cleveland. “And they just did an X-ray. And they gave me some medicine for bronchitis at the time.”

While he thought that was all, the Apple Watch raised a connected alarm, prompting further testing.

“My blood oxygen — which is normally in the mid-90s, which is what it should be, kind of 95 and up — started getting out to the mid-80s,” he explained. The warning at night did not worry the man, but at the urging of his worried family he went to the emergency room again.

Using numbers he had collected from the Apple Watch, doctors ordered more scans and discovered blood clots in his lungs. His doctor told him that if he hadn’t sought help, approximately 60% of people at that time might not have survived the night.

Now on blood thinners, Counihan is happy and grateful that the Apple Watch pointed him in the right direction. Although the Apple Watch can’t directly diagnose medical problems, it seems that the various alerts and metrics it compiles about a user were enough to point doctors in the right direction.

“I have friends who have gone out and bought an Apple Watch as a result,” he told the report. “I just had dinner with a friend the other night and he’s also looking to get an Apple Watch now. It saved my life. It’s amazing.”

The Apple Watch has been repeatedly cited as a catalyst for life-saving assistance since its release. Earlier in March, it helped a British writer detect an undiagnosed heart problem, while the Crash Detection feature helped medics reach a vehicle involved in a car crash in Germany after it was thrown 60 feet under the road.

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