Apple Watch helps save Metro Detroit woman's life

Amy Satterfield was relaxing at home six months ago when her Apple Watch showed that her heart rate was high.

The 47-year-old owns Explore Yoga in Troy, is a yoga therapist, works out every day, and eats healthy, yet her watch said her resting heart rate was 126. A normal heart should be between 60-100 beats per minute.

Her husband is a first responder and was concerned, so they went to the hospital.

It turned out that a heart condition she'd had all her life with no problems, mitral valve prolapse, had suddenly become a big problem.

"Pretty quickly they admitted me, and as it turned out I was having heart failure," Satterfield said. "I thought I was overreacting, or my husband was overreacting. I guess I was under-reacting."

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She ended up needing open-heart surgery to have her heart valve repaired.

"Thank goodness for the Apple Watch because I felt fine," she said. "I wonder if it hadn't been for the Apple Watch, I might not even be here? If I wouldn't have woken up? I have no idea what would have happened at that point."

Dr. Monica Jiddou-Patros, an interventional cardiologist at Beaumont, said Apple Watches and other devices that monitor heart rates and health habits can not only help us get up, get moving, and get the exercise we need - but also notify us when something might be amiss.

"I think it does help kind of take control of your health and give you some insight and can obviously add a little anxiety if things change and we don't know why, but that's where  your doctors come into play and help figure that out," she said. "Sometimes when the heart rate is really fast it could be indicative of an arrhythmia. Sometimes people with heart failure may have a higher heart rate because the heart's trying to compensate for the function."