Christina Pellegrini
April 09, 2016 7:48 am
Fitbit

Fitness wearables were created to help keep us healthy, but this particular Fitbit turned out to literally be a life saver.

Reports say that a doctor in Camden, New Jersey, used data from someone’s Fitbit Charge HR to make the educated decision to use electrical conversion to reset his heart rate. The 42-year-old man had been rushed to the emergency room after suffering a seizure. This is the first time that a fitness wearable has ever been used for something like this, and our minds are completely blown by the amazingness of *science*.

It turns out that the staff at the hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, picked up on his atrial fibrillation — a quick, irregular heartbeat — and weren’t sure what to do. The stakes were high: If the irregular heartbeat was abnormal for the man, the doctors would want to treat him with electrocardioversion, but if the man’s heartbeat was normally fast, cardioverting might loosen an appendage clot that could then trigger a stroke.

But, when someone noticed the guy’s Fitbit, they were able to check the app on his phone and see that his normal heartbeat was 70–80 BPM per minute, which accelerated to 140–160 at the time of seizure. Since his heartbeat was normally much slower, they used electrocardioversion to save his life.

This discovery shows how helpful wearable technology can be to medical staff, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the industry starts capitalizing on the potential for fitness trackers like Fitbits to check our vitals. Image if wearables could be used as a reference for doctors and nurses someday?

Until then, you’ll have to excuse us, because we have a Fitbit to buy, just in case.

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