FARHAT Haniff is a 30 year-old restauranteur and a freelance architect.
When he decided to buy a Series 4 Apple Watch, it was because he wanted to be fit. But it seems that he got more than what he bargained for, as his Apple Watch eventually led to him being diagnosed with a heart condition.
“I just wanted to be fit, I exercised regularly, I manage my diet well, and I slept with care,” he said.
“So, I didn’t give too much notice when my Apple Watch first alerted me to an elevated heart rate situation. I probably thought it was because I was about to board a plane,” he added.
Like some of us, Farhat has experienced some form of anxiety when flying. He ignored the elevated heart rate alert because he thought it was because of this and thought nothing of a possibility of having a problematic heart condition.
But his Apple Watch was persistent in the showing of a sudden display of a heart icon, telling him his heart was beating at 120 beats per minute.
This happened again, and again, and again.
“The second time it happened, I was watching TV, and again just before bedtime. I was thinking to myself; it shouldn’t be the case since my heart shouldn’t be beating so fast during these periods,” he recalled.
Farhat finally relented, and decided to go to a clinic in Cyberjaya after four days from the first notification, and brought a friend along with him for support.
“I initially resisted from visiting the doctor’s. I even asked my friends who owned Apple Watches if they too received similar notifications, of which none of them said they did,” he claimed.
“This made me curious enough to go to the clinic,” he added.
It seemed that his visit to the clinic proved to be a fateful one. The clinic ran an electrocardiogram (ECG) test on him from which they indeed found some irregularities with his heart condition.
The attending GP was perplexed since an active 29-year-old, non-smoker, who exercised regularly, is not a typical candidate with this type of heart condition.
The doctor then informed him that he needs further check-ups and advised him to visit a hospital as soon as possible.
It was at this point that Farhat realized that things are getting serious. He asked his friend to drive him to Hospital Putrajaya.
“I remember I was trembling out of fear. It was not easy for me to digest this information easily. At this point in time, the clinic could only tell me something was wrong, and not what was wrong with me.
"I couldn’t drive myself to the hospital, but lucky for me I had a friend that could,” he joked recalling what happened right after that visit to the clinic.
At the hospital, he was subjected to further tests, and he was eventually diagnosed with arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat.
Farhat’s case is not the first.
In fact, around the globe, Apple Watches have helped unearth heart conditions and other health issues that led to various diagnoses.
It is a common thread of stories of patients that carry ‘silent’ medical conditions that would otherwise go unseen.
But the watch isn’t just about sending out health alerts.
Apple Watch users have written in to say how the watch has helped alerted their loved ones to Fall Alerts and Emergency SOS calls.
With fall detection for example, watch wearers can set up their devices to allow emergency services to aid them in their time of need.
And there are use cases around the globe where such events have indeed been documented.
Emergency SOS calls can also be set up by the users to let emergency services be notified if Apple Watch wearers are finding themselves to be in a compromised situation.
In Malaysia, ECG monitor and AFib alerts on Apple Watches are still yet to be made available.
But despite this, users like Farhat are still able to find ways to help themselves be diagnosed with a rare medical condition, a condition that would otherwise could’ve gone unnoticed.
Farhat now has sworn off caffeine, changed his diet and lifestyle, and generally has a much more positive outlook on his life.
He may have wanted to buy an Apple Watch ‘just to be fit’.
It may seem that he got what he wanted, and then some.