How The Apple Watch Can Assist Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis
I often find it amusing to reflect on how much technology we rely on each day. I am guilty of being far too dependent on my Google calendar, iPhone or email reminders for the daily tasks I need to remember. As a prime example: when I come down the stairs each morning I ask my Alexa device, “Alexa what is on my calendar today” and she rhymes off the meetings I have while I make coffee. Some may argue this is me being too dependent on technology, but the reality is, brain fog often impedes a PF patient’s ability to remember things.
Last weekend I was teasing my cousin about her dependence on her Apple Watch, and about a recent episode where she accidentally notified 911 by holding down the index button by having her wrist bent against it too long. Not only did the Apple Watch notify 911 and send them her GPS coordinates, it also alerted all of her emergency phone contacts that she’d placed a 911 call (pending you have them set up in your Medical ID on iPhone). Understandably, everyone was texting my cousin in a panic and an “unknown caller” also came across her Apple Watch, which turned out to be 911 and she didn’t answer. While this scenario was comical because she didn’t mean to call 911 and alert everyone; it made me think of how beneficial the Apple Watch might be for someone living on their own with IPF.
I love my iPhone and Apple Macbook, but had no interest in buying an Apple Watch because I didn’t think I needed one. After teasing my cousin and talking to my sister-in-law at the same time, we really got to thinking about how this device could assist me in an emergency. The Apple Watch also detects your heart rate and picks up on a sudden drop in your heart rate, plus it has fall detection. Therefore, if I fainted or suddenly felt unwell, the device can alert 911 for me (if I don’t reply to the nudge it sends asking to dismiss a call to 911 within 1 minute) and send the GPS coordinates. Plus it alerts those in my emergency contacts/Medical ID that a call has been placed. Not only would this be beneficial for when I am at home alone, it also would be good if I was walking my dog and suddenly became breathless or slipped on ice (which has happened before). I also wouldn’t have to have my phone within reach to answer a call back from 911, indicating I need help, I can reply using my watch.
While I am not endorsing the Apple Watch in any way, and these truly are just my own observations about how I think this might be helpful; I wanted to share these features of the watch with other PF patients. I had no idea the capabilities of this device, and know I’ll be looking into buying one in the near future. Perhaps a good Christmas present idea?
Do any of you use technology in an effort to increase your safety at home or while alone and living with IPF/PF?
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