We have talked here several times about the electrocardiogram (ECG) of Apple Watch, introduced in the Series 4 version of the watch. Among details about its operation and explanations of why the resource has not yet arrived in Brazil, one thing has always been made very clear: Apple’s idea is not to replace a medical consultation, but to offer the user supplementary data – making you see a doctor as soon as you notice something out of order, for example.
Still, in at least one case, the Apple Watch’s ECG seems to have outgrown a hospital’s professional electrocardiogram techniques – at least that’s what the European Heart Journal in relation to the recent case of an 80-year-old German patient.
You arrived at the University Medical Center of Mainz, in Germany, with chest pain, dizziness and irregular heart rhythm – all of these, symptoms of myocardial ischemia, a condition in which blood flow to the heart is reduced and the subsequent lack of oxygen can lead to a heart attack.
Immediately, the doctors submitted the patient to a traditional ECG exam, with 12 points of contact; the test, however, did not show any evidence of myocardial ischemia. It was there that the patient showed the professionals the results of tests done with the ECG of her Apple Watch – these, with clear evidence of the condition.
Armed with the extra information, doctors transferred the patient to a catheterization laboratory, where they were able to detect a stenosis (compression) in one of the main cardiac arteries, as well as a lesion in one of the heart’s bifurcations. The lady was operated on, with stents applied to damaged vessels, and released the next day.
Obviously, none of this indicates that the Apple Watch is more competent than thorough examinations, performed by qualified professionals – what such a case shows is that, in most cases, a device that monitors patient information frequently (rather than just in an eventual examination) is a valuable ally in the detection of diseases and other conditions.
The researchers who wrote the report of the European Health Journal concluded by saying that the Apple Watch can even be used to detect cases of myocardial ischemia. To prove this, of course, more tests will be needed.