The Apple Watch started off as a simple smartwatch to receive notifications, integrate certain services with your iOS device, and maybe trace your steps for basic exercise. No one would have guessed how far technology has progressed and how much it can help individuals with a variety of health-related issues. If you’ve used the Apple Watch before, you know that it’s a great companion for exercise, as you can count your steps, time workouts, and track runs. There are a bunch of other features that can help you optimize your life and make the most out of your health. Here’s the amazing story of how one girl’s Apple Watch Heart app helped her detect cancer and some other features that may help you.
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How Apple Watch’s Heart App Helped Detect Cancer
This is a story about 12-year-old Imani Miles and her mother. When Imani’s Apple Watch Heart app kept notifying her of abnormally high heart rates, the family took their daughter to the hospital to see what was wrong. These continuous alerts alarmed them, and after an inspection, the doctors found out she had an issue related to her appendix. Initially thought to be appendicitis, the hospital found a tumor in Imani’s appendix, which is extremely rare in young children. They then found that it had spread slightly to other areas of her body.
Had the family not taken action when they were notified of Imani’s unusual heart rate, this story may not have had a happy ending. Thankfully, thanks to swift action, they were able to remove all cancer surgically and are actively monitoring Imani and her health. There are countless similar stories about how the Apple Watch has helped people and saved lives. Now, many see this technology as not just an accessory but a tool that can help them improve their overall quality of life. While wearables won’t be some kind of miracle technology that can cure diseases, combined with human intelligence and effort, we may be able to see drastic improvements in our health and well-being.
What Does the Heart App Do?
The Heart app, put simply, monitors your heart rate. The watch utilizes photoplethysmography, which uses green LED lights and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist. When your heart beats, there is more blood flow to your wrists. In between beats, there’s less blood flow. The Apple Watch flashes its green LED lights hundreds of times a second to capture an accurate determination of your heart rate. You can use this to inform the wearable accessory that you’re working out, as your heart would be pumping blood quicker. And, evidently, you may be able to find any conditions or medical issues based on irregular heart rates.
Other Apple Watch Health Features
Here are some other Apple Watch features, like the Heart app, that you can take advantage of:
Sleep is one of the most important parts of our lives, seeing as we spend a third of it in slumber. Using sensors and the aforementioned heart rate detection, the Apple Watch can accurately determine all the cycles of sleep and how long you spend in them. Then, it compiles all that data for you to analyze in the iOS Health app. You can get in-depth measurements into the quality of your sleep, what times you tend to wake up at most, and how long you slept. This gives you the chance to see where you can make improvements for a better night’s sleep.
We all know now that Apple Watch is great for counting steps rather accurately (compared to iOS). It uses a combination of speed, distances, and GPS location to find out how many steps you’re walking and how many calories you’re burning. One feature that you might not be aware of is that you can backtrack and retrace your steps in case you get lost. Although Apple claims that this feature works best when in nature, such as hiking, there’s nothing stopping you from using this feature in the city if you get lost.
You can perform a number of tests with the Apple Watch to evaluate your overall cardiovascular health. It measures VO2 max, six-minute walking distance, blood oxygen levels, and other metrics such as step length, walking asymmetry, and walking speed. When you gather all this data, you can get a comprehensive report and crucial data regarding your cardio fitness right in your iOS Health app. This integration makes it easier than ever to get a better understanding of your health and fitness.