SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A local man is crediting his Fitbit for possibly saving his life.

Craig Swimm is a very active person, but when his Fitbit was telling him that his heart rate was way above normal, he knew something was wrong.

It was one year ago when Swimm noticed his Fitbit watch was telling him his heart rate was about 150 beats per minute. He tried to play it off as a fluke, but after not feeling right, he went to urgent care.

From there, he was sent immediately to the emergency room. His heart was in atrial fibrillation, or Afib, when the heart's natural pacemaker can't control the heart.

"They said I wish we knew if you were in this for more than 24 hours. I knew for a fact that I wasn't. I could see on my Fitbit exactly when it started," Swimm said.

He showed them an image from his Fitbit monitor. It showed exactly what time his heart started to malfunction.

"Showed them the previous day at 4 p.m. and he said if that's accurate, we can do this right now," Swimm noted.

They went with a treatment that could have been deadly had they not known the time frame the Afib started. He was able to go home from the hospital that day.

Dr. Quinn Pack, a cardiologist at Baystate Medical Center, didn't provide care for Swimm, but he said this type of information is key to diagnosis.

"I wouldn't ever use this to self-diagnose, but if it gets you to the doctor and it detects a new problem, that's a good thing. We are going to be able to initiate some treatment," Pack said.

Swimm told Western Mass News he encourages everyone to listen to their body when something isn't right.

"It's the best $150. Did it save my life? I don't know, maybe," Swimm explained.

Swimm said that he has told everyone who he's come across in the last year this story and everyone in his office now wears a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. He also told us that he is healthy and hasn't had any other heart issues.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Digital Content Manager


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