New York: An 18-year-old boy in the US has credited a smartwatch for saving his life after the device alerted him that his heart rate was much higher than normal, leading to the diagnosis of a life-threatening condition.
Paul Houle, a senior at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts, felt back pain after participating in two football practices in sweltering heat.
"I thought I was just sore and a little out of shape because the practice was hard. I didn't think much of it," Houle said.
Back at his dorm room after practice, Houle checked his Apple Watch's heart rate monitor. The watch indicated his heart rate was 145 beats per minute, a full 60 to 80 beats higher than an average resting heart rate.
Houle thought the watch was broken but after the school's athletic trainer and the school's nurse examined him, he was immediately driven to the emergency room.
Houle was later diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which the muscles in the body break down and release a protein into the bloodstream that causes vital organs to fail.
The condition is a known risk for amateur athletes engaging in physically strenuous summer workouts.
"Doctors told me that if I had not said anything and gone to practice the next day, I very easily could have died," Houle told 'The Huffington Post'.
Houle is back at school after a three-day stint in the hospital but is still suffering from fatigue and muscle soreness and is not sure when he will be able to play sports again.
Apple CEO Tim Cook called the teen shortly after his diagnosis and has offered him a new iPhone and a summer internship.