We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” — but how about an Apple Watch?
Rashid Riaz, a 43-year-old British doctor employed by Hereford County Hospital in England, helped save a sick plane passenger’s life by using a flight attendant’s Apple Watch, the BBC reported.
The event happened on a Ryanair flight from Birmingham, England to Verona, Italy on January 9 when a woman in her 70s became short of breath.
Riaz stepped up to help the woman after a crew member asked if there was a doctor on board.
The woman, who is not being publicly identified, didn’t initially respond to Riaz’s questions, but after learning she had a history of heart issues, the doctor asked the flight attendant for her Apple Watch to gauge her blood oxygen levels.
“The Apple Watch helped me find out the patient had low oxygen saturation,” Riaz told BBC.
Riaz used the watch’s Blood Oxygen app, which is meant for “general fitness and wellness purposes,” according to Apple’s website. The site said the app is “not intended for medical use,” but in this case it was helpful.
Riaz asked the Ryanair crew for an oxygen cylinder which helped him stabilize the woman’s oxygen saturation until they landed in Italy.
After landing, the woman received additional medical assistance and recovered quickly.
“I used a lot of my own learning during this flight on how to use the gadget,” Riaz said.
“It is a lesson in how we can improve in-flight journeys [with] this sort of emergency [via] a basic gadget which nowadays is easily available.”
Riaz applauded the airline on how they handled the issue but recommended that airplanes carry tools to take body measurements like oxygen saturation, and blood pressure and to determine if someone is having a diabetic emergency.
“These things can save someone’s life in an emergency situation,” he added.
While the Blood Oxygen app proved helpful, Apple is in a patent dispute with Masim, a medical technology company, about their software. Apple revealed last week that their Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watches would not have the blood oxygen app.
The Post reached out to Ryanair and Apple for comment.