There have been plenty of interesting stories about the Apple Watch saving a person’s life by detecting heart problems early on. As it turns out, the smartwatch might be useful as a way to find out if a person has an undiagnosed kidney disease too.
An 18-year old girl named Deanna Recktenwald was at church when her Apple Watch told her to seek immediate medical attention because her resting heart rate was 160. Her mother, a registered nurse, checked her pulse to confirm the reading’s accuracy. She wasn’t worried initially and thought the higher heart rate was a fluke.
However, things took a more serious turn when Recktenwald’s heart rate climbed to 190 beats per minute and she began experiencing shortness of breath and a headache. Her mother immediately took her to a clinic and then to an emergency room.
Doctors informed Recktenwald that she was in kidney failure. Her kidneys were only functioning at 20%. This came as a shock since she didn’t exhibit symptoms of any kidney issues and had no known medical problems. If her Apple Watch hadn’t warned her early on, the disease may have gone undetected and required a kidney transplant further down the line.
Recktenwald’s mother later wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook to thank him. He responded to the letter by thanking her in turn and later tweeted about the incident. The brand is reportedly going to include an embedded EKG module and non-invasive glucose monitor in its next-gen Apple Watch, so more stories like this will probably pop up in the future as well.