Tags: Heart Disease | fitness | tracker | cardiac | emergency | atrial | fibrillation

Could Your Fitness Tracker Save Your Life?

Could Your Fitness Tracker Save Your Life?

Thursday, 07 April 2016 11:39 AM

Doctors treating a man suffering a cardiac emergency were able to access vital information from his fitness tracker in order to successfully treat him, they say.

A 42-year-old man came to a Camden, N.J. hospital in after suffering a seizure. He was also experiencing the heartbeat irregularity known as atrial fibrillation, but he had no history of it, or of any other cardiac problems.

The doctors gave him medication to restore his normal heartbeat, but he was still suffering from the heartbeat irregularity.  In such a case, doctors are supposed to perform electrical cardioversion, which is an electric current that returns the heartbeat to normal.

Their problem, though, was that this procedure can only be performed within a 48-hour window, and, since the man was no longer suffering symptoms, he didn’t know when the problem had started.

But because he had been wearing a fitness tracker that recorded his heartbeat, doctors were able to access the information and learn the precise time when the man’s heartbeat had jumped from 70 to 190, and the episode of atrial fibrillation began.

"The device told us that the patient's atrial fibrillation was present for only a few hours. That was well within the 48-hour window needed to consider him for rhythm conversion, so we cardioverted him and sent him home,” says Dr. Alfred Sacchetti, of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, lead author of the case study, which appears in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Fitness trackers are currently not an approved medical device but using one which records the heartbeat could provide doctor with potentially lifesaving information in a medical emergency, Sacchetti adds.

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Doctors accessed vital information from a fitness tracker to aid a man suffering a cardiac emergency.
fitness, tracker, cardiac, emergency, atrial, fibrillation
Thursday, 07 April 2016 11:39 AM
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