Sure, the Apple Watch is the trendy kid on the fitness tracker block, but the device's heart rate feature could be the reason one teen is alive today
From celeb partnerships to glossy magazine spreads, Apple has spared no expense when it comes to advertising their Apple Watch—they reportedly spent $38 million on TV ads in a single month this year. But a new endorsement for the device is perhaps the most powerful of all: One teen credits his newly purchased Apple Watch with saving his life.
Last weekend, Massachusetts high school senior Paul Houle Jr. was finishing up football practice when he began to experience back and chest pain. "I didn't think much of it. I thought I was just sore and I would feel better the next day," he told ABC News. However, when his watch alerted him that his heart rate was abnormal—145, double what it normally is—he brought the news to the attention of the school's athletic trainer. (Here's more on how the Apple Watch heart rate feature works)
After the trainer took Paul to the school health center, he was eventually brought to the emergency room, where doctors discovered he had rhabdomyolysis—a condition caused by the breakdown of muscle tissue that releases a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream. If not treated, rhabdomyolysis can lead to heart, liver, and kidney failure.
The teen's father, Paul Houle, M.D., a neurosurgeon, reports that his son's kidneys, liver, and heart showed signs of damage and he spent several days in the hospital, but is now feeling better and has returned to school (although, he hasn't started playing football yet). Paul reportedly also received a phone call from Apple CEO Tim Cook himself this week, to check up on him and offer him an internship at Apple and a new iPhone.
"If it wasn't for the Apple Watch to alert him to the fact that there was a problem, he probably would have just gone back to bed. He would have showed up for practice the next day and would have been one of the kids you read about every fall, who drops dead on the football field," Houle said. Pretty powerful stuff.