Malaysian made aware of heart issue via his Apple Watch

Most smartwatches these days come with heart-rate-monitoring built-in. Apart from tracking your fitness, the heart-rate-monitoring feature could also be a potential lifesaver. Farhat Haniff, a 30-year-old Malaysian restaurateur and freelance architect was practising a relatively healthy lifestyle. Sometime late last year, his Apple Watch Series 4 has helped him to uncover an odd heart condition.

During a turbulent flight from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur, his Apple Watch had alerted him of an elevated heart rate. His watch was showing a heart notification with a reading of 120bpm. At first, he brushed it off since he has a bit of anxiety when it comes to flying.

Then, it happened again while watching TV and it occurred again right before bedtime when his heart-rate was supposed to be low. He thought it could be a fluke and had even performed a hard reset of the Watch but he still continued to receive the same high heart-rate notification. An adult usually has a resting heart rate between 50-100bpm and if you have an elevated heart rate while being inactive, this could be a warning sign.

Four days after the first notification, he decided to go for a checkup at a clinic in Cyberjaya. At first, the doctor told him that his vital signs were normal. However, after he told his doctor of his elevated heart rate notification, the doctor recommended a quick ECG which revealed something is wrong. He was later admitted to hospital for further treatment.

At the moment, the cause of the irregular heart rate is still unknown but Farhat has quit caffeine and to keep an eye on his workout to ensure that he doesn’t overexert himself. He added that he wouldn’t have known about his heart condition without the Watch as he has experienced no pain or difficulty in breathing.

It is worth pointing out that the latest Apple Watch models have the hardware to support ECG monitoring and Atrial Fibrillation detection but it isn’t available in Malaysia. Even without it, the Watch can still support high heart rate notification.

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Alexander Wong