Apple Watch helps saves Maine woman from deadly tumor

2 months ago 24

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The Apple Watch has been credited with saving the life of a woman in Maine, with the wearable device's atrial fibrillation warnings leading to surgery to deal with a deadly tumor.

In late May, 67-year-old Kim Durkee received multiple notifications from her Apple Watch, warning that her heart was in atrial fibrillation. After discounting the first two nights' results, she felt the numbers on the third were "a little too high for comfort."

Still disbelieving the notification, Durkee told herself "You know what, go to the emergency room, if they tell you it's nothing to worry about then toss the watch," she recounted to WBZ-TV.

Doctors were able to confirm the erratic heart beat, and determined it was a myxoma. A rare tumor type, it is known to be fast-growing and can constrict the blood supply to the heart, which can cause a stroke.

When asked how she knew she was A-fib, Kim told the doctors "Because my watch told me."

Durkee went under the knife on June 27 at the Massachusetts General Hospital, with the four-centimeter tumor removed after five hours of open-heart surgery. After 11 days at the hospital, she returned home to continue her recovery.

"I consider myself to be very lucky, to be here and talking to you," Kim said. She has a lot more talking to go, as she was contacted by many other Apple Watch owners after her story came to light.

The Apple Watch has repeatedly been cited as a reason people have been able to quickly seek help in an emergency, and in diagnosing otherwise ignored ailments. In March, a dentist in India used the ECG function after feeling discomfort in his chest, which turned out to be a blocked artery.

Other features have also been helpful in saving lives, including fall detection leading to a lung cancer diagnosis, and the cellular function used to call for help when a swimmer was trapped in a river.

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