Everyone knows how popular the wearable technology Fitbit is. It's great because it helps us track our fitness goals and progress. But saving a man's life? That's an unexpected accomplishment.
When a 42-year-old New Jersey man was rushed to the hospital following a seizure last week, doctors were worried. They noticed he had an atrial fibrillation, aka an irregular and fast heartbeat. Since they didn't know if it was chronic or triggered by the seizure, they couldn't give shock him the shock treatment he needed.
Luckily, the doctors also noticed the man was wearing a Fitbit. When they checked the synchronized app on the patient's smartphone they were able to see his heart rate activity. That data then showed doctors that the atrial fibrillation was caused by the seizure, meaning they could perform the electrocardioversion that saved his life.
This was the first time in medical history that information from a fitness tracker- smartphone system was used to assist in medical decision making.
Fitbit still has a long way to go before it is regularly assisting in life or death decisions. However, with capabilities to record important health information we have a feeling this isn't going to be the last life it saves.
If you don't have a Fitbit, you should think about getting one. It might just save your life.