An Arizona teen’s smartwatch got to the heart of the matter.
The Samsung gadget that 13-year-old Austin Hardison received last year as a Christmas gift led to the diagnosis of a rare heart condition.
ABC 15 Arizona reports that when Austin was watching TV earlier this summer, he felt light-headed and noticed his watch’s heart-rate monitor had ticked up to 219 beats per minute.
Given the imminent start of the school year, Austin’s mom, Lynsey Hardison, initially chalked it up to anxiety.
So Lynsey took Austin to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for a checkup — and he left with a diagnosis of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
According to the Mayo Clinic, that means Austin was born with an extra electrical pathway between his heart’s upper and lower chambers, which can result in a rapid heartbeat, also known as tachycardia, in infants and children.
“We were just never aware of it,” Lynsey says. Children with the condition may not be able to play high-impact sports, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Other tales of smartwatches saving lives have cropped up as wearable technology becomes more advanced and more affordable. Mike Love, a 24-year-old in Sydney, had an Apple watch that alerted him to his own elevated heart rate while sleeping. A doctor ended up finding a previously undiagnosed hole in Love’s heart, as well as a lung condition.
Austin wears what appears to be the Gear S3 Frontier, which retails for $249.99.
The present Austin wanted — because “a bunch of my friends started getting [smartwatches] and they look really cool” — may have been a lifesaver.
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