How an Activity Tracker like a Fitbit or a Wristwatch Could Potentially Help You Save Your Life

As the year 2018 comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the past year and look forward to another 12 months. This is the time of year when a lot of us make fitness-related New Year’s resolutions to either get in better shape or keep up with what we’re already doing.

Activity monitors and smartwatches can be of tremendous assistance in this regard. Whenever it concerns wearable tech, there is no doubt that Fitbit gadgets have been at the top of the priority list for many people’s Christmas shopping. There is a rationale behind the tremendous success that the company has had with its trackers. They are easy to use, reliable, look good, can give great key statistics, and come with a great app.

But the past year has proved that such devices are capable of far more than just assisting people in turning their resolutions into habits that last a lifetime. We would like to share the experiences of four people whose lives have been saved in 2018 with the help of their Fitbit gadget. Each of these individuals has a unique story to tell.

The first one focuses on a young woman from Indiana named Eliza Wilson. The young woman, now 16 years old, was quoted in the IndyStar as saying that she could recall her heart “occasionally missing a beat” ever since she was born. But while Eliza was on vacation in Texas, she observed her heartbeat in a different way than it did when she was at home. It was Greta, the girl’s mother, who suggested that her daughter wear a Fitbit on her wrist. At this point, she became aware that Eliza’s heart rate had increased to almost 220 beats per minute while she was at rest.

“I didn’t wish for her to get anxious at this point, but I was waiting in the other room on the Fitbit app monitoring her pulse rate go all over the place,” Greta said. “At this point in time, I didn’t want to get her to get anxious.”

“As I was taking (Eliza) to the emergency room, we couldn’t help but wonder, ‘How did we get here? Why did something like this happen today?”

A trip to the doctor revealed a problem with the patient’s heart, which led to the performance of life-saving heart surgery. It would appear that Eliza has had supraventricular tachycardia since birth. This is a defect that causes the patient’s heart rate to be much faster than normal because of a mistake in the way the electrical impulses are sent.

The following account discusses a resting heart rate that is remarkably low. Before purchasing his Charge 2, Barry Bickel, a consultant from New Jersey, had a resting heart rate that averaged slightly over 70 beats per minute. In a relatively short amount of time, it then dropped to 62.

Bickel stated, “I didn’t even think anything of it and then a few days ago it was in the 50s,” when asked about the temperature change.

“I found it really strange but was otherwise unaffected by it.”

His normal heart rate steadily declined even after it had reached these lower values, rather than being stable at these rates. On occasion, the temperature might even fall into the high 30s. The worried feelings first started to surface for the father of three at this point. 

According to what was reported on Patch.com, a third-degree heart block was discovered during an appointment with his physician. This indicated that the connections between the signals that trigger his heart weren’t working properly. Barry was eventually treated for a rare form of Lyme disease known as Lyme Carditis. The explanation for this condition was Lyme disease.

The third narrative focuses on Keith Lambert, a college professor at a Spokane institution. According to KXLY, Keith’s Fitbit revealed that his heart was exerting itself beyond normal levels. As time went on, his resting heart rate continued to rise, and eventually, it reached a point where it was equivalent to his performing approximately 15 hours of cardio each day even though he didn’t exercise.

“[I] did start realizing, gosh, I am not receiving much rest. To clarify, I am talking about how exhausted I feel. But I didn’t give it much thought,” was his response.

“I have really never felt so good. And during the same week, I started seriously asking myself, ‘What is going on?’”

After going to the doctor, it was determined that he had an obstruction in his LAD artery, which is also referred to as the “widow-maker.” After having a stent placed, the doctors released Keith from the hospital and sent him back to his house an hour and a half later. Now that he’s able to return to work doing just what he loves, he’s really starting to appreciate life again. 

“I had no idea of the power that we all carry in our forearms until I really needed it,” she said. He told us, “I have no doubt in my mind that the data from my Fitbit that was easily accessible to me saved my life.”

“The pattern of my heart rate going up that was displayed on my wrist was enough to validate my fears that something was amiss, and it gave me crucial data to assist me to explain to my doctors that things weren’t normal. Despite the fact that the data may not have supplied all of the answers, I am certain that it did provide one further piece of the puzzle to prove that something was wrong with my heart.

The city of Salt Lake is the setting for the fourth and last tale. The story follows Mike Glen, a diabetic, as he goes on a camping trip in Wyoming. It was featured on Fox13. It was at this point that his Fitbit smartwatch began to warn him about an extremely low heart rate while he was at rest. His wife was eventually successful in persuading him to make the one-hour drive to the closest hospital for treatment. During the doctor’s exam, it was found that one of his heart’s arteries was completely blocked, and another one was blocked 80% of the way.

“As soon as I uttered the enchanted phrase ‘chest discomfort and shortness of breath,’ they brought me right back in time. Glenn reported that within fifteen minutes, a physician walked in and told him that he needed to go to Salt Lake City.

Therefore, “I responded by asking him, ‘Well, am I allowed to retrieve my trailer and then drive my truck back?’” He responded by saying, “You don’t comprehend what I’m saying. You are going to Salt Lake City by plane. You have to leave right away.”

He was informed by the doctors that he had narrowly avoided a catastrophic heart attack and that he was extremely fortunate to be alive. If he hadn’t been wearing his Fitbit, he wouldn’t have had any way of knowing what was about to happen.

These examples, and others like them, demonstrate that the advantages of owning a wearable device may extend beyond simply assisting you in losing weight or increasing the number of steps you take. There are situations when an activity tracker or wristwatch can perform miracles for your health that could save your life.

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