Sep 28, 2015
Apple Watch Helps Diagnose Rhabdo

A high school football player at Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass. has credited his Apple Watch with saving his life. After a couple of tough practices, the watch alerted senior Paul Houle that his heart rate was double its normal rate. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with rhabdomyolysis.

As reported at The Huffington Post, Houle was experiencing back pain after a day of double practices in the heat, which prompted him to check his Apple Watch. When he saw his rapid heart rate, he went to the athletic trainer and school nurse, who confirmed the reading and brought him to the hospital, where he would stay for three days.

“Doctors told me that if I had not said anything and gone to practice the next day, I very easily could have died,” Houle said. “I thought I was just sore and a little out of shape because the practice was hard. I didn’t think much of it. Later, when I was at the hospital, they let me know that my back pain was actually my kidneys failing.” 

A silver lining to the close call was a phone call from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who wished Houle well and who has offered him a summer internship with the company. Houle hasn’t returned to the football field, but he’s grateful for a function of the Apple Watch that he had wholly underestimated.

“I thought it was a neat little feature, but didn’t see myself really using it,” he said. “What I thought was so tiny and not important turned out to be a life-changing decision.”


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