While on a flight to Italy, an elderly woman began to experience shortness of breath. Luckily, a doctor on board the plane was able to come to her rescue and prevent the medical emergency from escalating further with the help of an Apple Watch.
A 43-year-old British doctor named Rashid Riaz, who works at Hereford County Hospital in England, was flying via Ryanair from Birmingham, England, to Verona, Italy, on January 9 for a skiing vacation when a woman in her 70s started struggling to breathe.
After a crew member asked if there was a healthcare worker on board, Dr. Riaz stepped up to help the woman.
The woman did not initially respond to his questions, but when she finally did, much to the relief of her husband, whom she had been traveling with, Dr. Riaz discovered that she had a history of heart issues.
So, the doctor then borrowed an Apple Watch from a flight attendant, using the device to gauge the woman’s blood oxygen levels. Dr. Riaz used the Blood Oxygen app found on the watch, which the Apple website states is meant for “general fitness and wellness purposes.”
Although the app was not designed for medical use, it came in handy for such a case as this.
Currently, Apple is in the midst of a patent dispute with Masim, a medical technology company, over their software. Last week, Apple revealed that their Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watches would be released without the blood oxygen app.
Dr. Riaz also asked the cabin crew for an oxygen cylinder to help him monitor and stabilize the woman’s oxygen saturation levels until the plane landed.
An hour later, they arrived in Italy, where the woman received additional medical assistance and made a quick recovery.