Say what you will about Steve Jobs’ empire, but after a recent incident involving a Massachusetts teen, a football practice, and one high tech watch, the company has a whole new reason to be asking, “How do you like them Apple (products)?”
High school football player Paul Houle gives full credit to his Apple Watch for saving his life after using the wearable to test his heart rate. Self-diagnosing himself with intense chest and back pains, Houle knew something was wrong, and took to his Apple device to put some quantitative data behind his suspicions. “I tested my heart rate, and it was about 145 for about two hours after practice,” Houle said.
After taking this information to his trainer and school nurse, the 17-year-old was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo, a condition that is brought about by intense exercise which can cause muscle cells to leak, releasing enzymes and proteins into the bloodstream. “I was so dehydrated that my muscles started to actually break down and release a protein that is sort of toxic into my blood stream which caused my heart, my liver and my kidneys all to shut down,” Houle told local news stations.
Without the Apple Watch, Houle believes, he may not have made the decision to go to the hospital, a decision which may have saved his life. “If my Apple Watch hadn’t shown me it was 145, I would have done nothing about it,” he said, providing what may be the strongest anecdotal evidence to date of the Apple Watch’s practical health benefits. That being said, Houle’s experience doesn’t mean that the Apple Watch is ready to replace more traditional and established diagnostic tools and techniques.
In addition to saving his life, Houle’s experience with the Apple Watch has also landed him a pretty snazzy internship, and a memorable phone call with one executive. “I got a phone call from a California number, and he said ‘Hello, my name is Tim Cook, CEO of Apple,’” Houle recalled. And by the time he got off the phone, he had an offer for a brand new iPhone and a job next summer. Not a bad deal for the purchase of one wearable device.