You may have seen your co-workers wearing the trendy FitBit to track their steps throughout the day. Many people are using this wearable technology to track their movements so they can get healthier and maybe even lose a few pounds. Yet many may not realize that these devices are more than just a simple health monitor: They also track information that could indicate a life-threatening problem.
Recently, we saw that in real time when a FitBit Charge HR tracker actually helped to save a man’s life in New Jersey.
The man was only 42, but he suffered a seizure and was admitted to the hospital. When determining how to treat him, doctors needed to know if he had suffered from an irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation. If he had an irregular heartbeat less than 48 hours before the seizure, the doctors would be able to perform electrocardioversion to get the heart rate back to normal. If he suffered irregular heartbeat before then, a clot could have developed and the treatment could have dislodged it, leading to potentially lethal consequences.
Heart Rate Information
Doctors noticed that the man was wearing a FitBit Charge HR and reviewed the heart rate information. Doctors were able to see the man’s baseline heart rate, as well as the elevated heart rate leading up to the seizure.
As a result of getting that information, doctors were able to perform the life-saving treatment needed, and the man was discharged not long after.
Without that data, doctors may have chosen to skip that treatment for fear of causing other problems. Without that treatment, that man could have died.
Wearable technology has already shown that it has many great uses beyond what we think, and the capability is bound to grow as technology advances. We can’t wait to see what’s possible!