With the still-evolving smart wearable options we have today - from fitness trackers to smartwatches, many people are still not buying into the whole trend. Maybe the must-have features they're looking for are simply not in the current crop of wearables yet. Or it could be that there are no real compelling reasons to wear tiny computers on their wrists every day.
But all the smart wearable faithfuls will beg to disagree. They'll say that not only do fitness trackers and smartwatches help you maintain good health, they could save your life too.
Take this recent case of a fortunate man, whose smart wearable was smart enough to warn him that something was amiss - something that would have caused certain death. Thankfully, he lived to tell about it.
He lived to tweet the tale
Twitter user James Green, a 28-year-old man from Brooklyn, tweeted a picture from the hospital claiming that his "stupid lil wrist computer (he) bought 2 years ago would save (his) life."
Never thought a stupid lil wrist computer I bought 2 years ago would save my life. Saw my ❤️ rate go up, ended up being a pulmonary embolism pic.twitter.com/r97uRcX0En
— renata’s eyepatch (@_jamestgreen) October 13, 2017
Apple Watch saved his life
According to Green, he suddenly suffered from a condition called pulmonary embolism, where there was a blockage of his arteries. He didn't realize that he was having a life-threatening blockage but his Apple Watch did - thanks to an app called Heart Watch.
The app, which keeps a history of his heart rate readings and cross-references them, notified him of his higher than usual heart rate and alerted him that something might be wrong.
The Apple Watch itself also keeps records of the wearer's heart rate through time which can prove invaluable during medical check-ups.
“It was cool to open up the Health app and show it to my physicians and give them more data to work with,” said Green. “I had no idea this watch would save my life.”
Green said he was treated for the condition and was discharged shortly.
The latest Apple Watch software update, watchOS 4, will likewise introduce built-in heart rate change notifications. Now, the Apple Watch will show an alert if its heart rate sensor detects a heart rate spike of 120 beats per minute or more while the wearer is at rest.
Apple is also reported to be working with Stanford and America Well to study if the Apple Watch can be useful in detecting another serious heart condition called cardiac arrhythmia - an irregular and abnormal type of heartbeat.
The Apple Watch is considered one of the most accurate heart trackers among smart wearables. The latest version, the Series 3, even has its own cellular connection. Future models might even be able to monitor blood sugars non-invasively.
Other latest devices that can save your life
Aside from the Apple Watch and other smart wearables, new apps and system developers are hard at work to help you avoid doctor visits, restore your hope in health care and save your life. Here are a few that you might have heard of.