This Man's Fitbit History Saved His Life After Doctors Used It To Quickly Diagnose Him
In the world of medical miracles, this one is certainly unexpected: a man's Fitbit history saved his life. Doctors couldn't figure out whether or not his irregular, increased heartbeat was preemptive to a stroke and triggered by a seizure, or if it was a chronic condition. Thankfully, due to the fact that he was tracking his heart rate with the device, doctors were able to determine what was really going on. So if you were avoiding getting on board with your own Fitbit, perhaps this will be your inspiration.
The 42-year-old New Jersey native was admitted to the emergency ward of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden citing an irregular heartbeat, of which doctors could not determine the cause. Why was this a dire situation, though? Because if the issue were chronic, the method of treatment would have triggered a stroke. Determining the cause was crucial to making sure he'd survive.
It was then that a staffer realized he was wearing a Fitbit device, and his history was able to confirm for them that the issue wasn't chronic. They went ahead with treatment, and saved his life. The incident was written up in the international medical journal Annals of Emergency Medicine, where his team of doctors noted, "The application was accessed on the patient’s smartphone and revealed a baseline pulse rate between 70 and 80 beats/min, with an immediate persistent increase to a range of 140 to 160 bpm at the approximate time of the patient’s seizure. The pulse rate remained elevated until administration of the diltiazem in the field."
While Fitbits are often suggested by doctors in an effort to maintain fitness or encourage more exercise (or simply to better track where you stand health-wise), this could be a turning point for people who struggle with heart conditions or other medical concerns. While you're tracking your fitness, you can also keep an eye on your heart rate and other vital pieces of information that could potentially be life-saving, as it was in this case.
The report also noted that, to their knowledge, "this is the first report to use the information in an activity tracker–smartphone system to assist in specific medical decision-making. The increased use of these devices has the potential to provide clinicians with objective clinical information before the actual patient encounter."
So there you have it: a Fitbit actually saved a man's life. Though it's hard to say how it would be effective as a medical device other than in these circumstances, it's more or less the last shred of proof that you should probably go get a Fitbit as soon as you can (sorry, not sorry).
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