Apple Watch alerts Holland man to medical condition

Ottawa County

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan man has found a new love for his Apple Watch after the device alerted him to a heart condition he didn’t know he had.  

As a self-proclaimed ‘tech guy,’ Ray Eklund of Holland was eager to see what the Apple Watch had to offer. 

At first, he wasn’t that impressed.  

“I thought, OK, it’s cool and everything, but it really didn’t speak to me, like what was it really going to do for me?” Eklund said.  

Little did Eklund know, his Apple Watch would one day alert him to a medical emergency. 

It all started on Friday when Eklund’s watch noticed he had an increased heart rate. This prompted him to open the Electronic Cardiogram (ECG) app, which records a person’s heartbeat and rhythm using the sensors on the back of the watch.  

“I was at 140 beats a minute (while) lying down,” Eklund said. “I’m thinking, this isn’t right.” 

After running a quick ECG test on his watch, the device said he was experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heartbeat that can lead to life-threatening complications if gone untreated.  

Eklund ran the test a few more times, getting the same result before calling his doctor who instructed him to call 911.  

After evaluating Eklund in his living room, paramedics verified he was in AFib.  

Eklund then went to the hospital where doctors restored rhythm to his heart using IV drugs.

While waiting for treatment, Eklund decided to send a quick thank you note.  

“I thought you know what, I’m kind of grateful that (my watch) caught this. I’m going to send a little email out to the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook,” Eklund said. “I never expected him to read it.” 

The next day, Eklund was shocked to see a response from Cook.  

“He replied, ‘Ray, I’m so glad you sought medical attention. Thank you for sharing your story for us. It inspires us to keep pushing forward,’”   

The email was signed, “Tim.” 

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