Wearing a fitness tracker is an easy and effective way to monitor your daily exercise and movement. Whether you go for a 10-mile run on the treadmill with Khloe Kardashian’s workout playlist or a 10-minute walk around the office park with your cubicle besties, every mile and calorie counts. If you have a job that’s hurting your health, the value is even greater (policewomen, you’ve gotta look out for yourselves too!). But it turns out that fitness tracker might be even more valuable than we knew.
Annals of Emergency Medicine just published a case where ER doctors were able to provide immediate and necessary life-saving care to a patient because of the information stored on his FitBit. The study comes out of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, NJ, where doctors used the heart rate measurements on the patient’s FitBit to identify exactly when his heart arrhythmia started after having a seizure. When they found the arrhythmia had been present less than three hours, they were able to treat him accordingly, with a simple rhythm conversion, and send him home with further plans for an outpatient cardiology appointment. Had they not known the exact time, they would have had to keep him longer and run more unnecessary tests.
Study author Dr. Alfred Sacchetti, MD, FACEP says that while “these devices [have] the potential to provide emergency physicians with objective clinical information prior to the patient’s arrival at the emergency department,” they have yet to be “considered approved medical devices,” and their use in these situations are “up to the clinician’s own discretion.”
Still, the possibility that a fitness tracker could provide pertinent medical information — however basic — in an emergency situation is such an awesome (and surprising!) benefit that it gives us yet another reason to strap ours to our wrists every morning.
Do you wear a fitness tracker on the regular? Tweet us @BritandCo and tell us why you love it!
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