Wearable fitness trackers such as the Fitbit have become a mainstay in the fitness world with users often raving about their health benefits.
But one woman claimed her Fitbit didn’t just encourage her to exercise more — it actually saved her life.
Seventy-three-year-old Patricia Lauder of Harwinton, Connecticut, noticed her Fitbit was logging an increase in her heart rate by five points every day in January, UConn Today reported.
Eventually, the tracker showed a resting heart rate of 140 beats per minute — that’s 40 points over the maximum normal resting heart rate, according to the American Heart Association.
Lauder had been suffering from a sinus infection that caused shortness of breath and fatigue in January, but after a doctor ruled out pneumonia, she figured she was just out of shape, Lauder told UConn Today.
However, the odd trend in her heart rate signified on her Fitbit eventually led Lauder to call an ambulance.
After a series of tests at UConn John Dempsey Hospital, doctors found blood clots in both lungs, causing her heart to work much harder to circulate blood.
"My heart had enlarged to about 65% beyond its (normal) capacity," Lauder said of her condition, a direct result of the blood clots, known as pulmonary embolisms.
Thanks to Dr. JuYong Lee, who used a catheter to apply clot-busting drugs to the clots, Lauder’s clots disappeared and her heart was back to being healthy the very next day, according to UConn Today.
“If I didn’t have a Fitbit on my wrist, I would never have known that my heart rate was getting dangerously high,” she said. “And I might not be here to tell my story.”