How One Woman’s FitBit Saved Her Life

Patricia Lauder is a 73-year-old woman from Connecticut, who in January, managed save her own life from a potentially fatal condition, all with the help from her FitBit fitness tracker.

Patricia had been feeling ill for some time, but she attributed it to a regular sinus infection, or at most, a case of pneumonia. She then began to notice her breath shortening and her heart beating more rapidly. She decided to take a look at her FitBit fitness tracker, which stores data like heart rate over periods of time. She was shocked to see that her heart rate, which was usually a healthy 60-70 BPM, had climbed to over 100 BPM.

She called an ambulance, and paramedics informed her that her FitBit was accurate: Patricia’s heart rate was hitting a dangerously high 140 BPM while she was lying down. She was taken to a hospital in Connecticut where scans and tests revealed that she had clots in both of her lungs.

A blood clot occurs when platelets and proteins come together and form a gel-like substance or mass. The blood clots in Patricia’s lungs had forced her heart to work harder and beat faster, and were also the cause of her shortness of breath. Dr. JuYong Lee immediately put Patricia on medicine to break up her clots and she soon regained normal function in her heart and lungs.

Got your own Fitbit? Read our guide on how to use it.

Dr. Lee pointed out that if Patricia wasn’t wearing a FitBit or wasn’t paying close attention to it, she could have died. He said, “I think the FitBit actually helped her decide whether or not this was a serious condition at the time.” Patricia recovered quickly, and was out of the hospital in three days.