Mick Schroeder, 73, is counting his blessings after his FitBit alerted doctors that his heart was about to give out.

When the readings on his watch showed his heart lurching between 47 beats per minute and a staggering 218 beats per minute on January 6, the Roweville grandfather was rushed to MonashHeart hospital where stunned specialists were able to save his life.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have it,” Mr Schroeder told the Herald Sun.

Unsure why he was suffering dizzy spells, Mr Schroeder went to see his GP only for scans of his heart to draw a blank.

It was only when the unusual step of examining the heart-monitoring data from his FitBit was undertaken – revealing his heart could jump to a life-threatening pace before returning to normal a minute later – the alarm was raised.

Suffering a ventricular tachycardia storm, it took days to control Mr Schroeder’s racing heart before MonashHeart electrophysiologist cardiologist Dr Stewart Healy implanted a defibrillator in case the condition strikes again.

“It’s an unusual case, I’ve certainly never seen anything like it,” Dr Stewart said.

“He had a very life-threatening arrhythmia…which in that sort of setting has a high-likelihood of dying.

“He was very sick. He had probably been in it for several weeks before coming to hospital.

“We are not, as a group saying everyone should go out and buy a FitBit yet, but it is an interesting thing in terms of picking this up.

“It is a growing area where consumers will be able to be a lot more involved in their own health.”

Having bought her dad a top-of-the range FitBit so she could use it’s GPS to monitor him while he lived independently, daughter Hollie Schroeder had no idea it’s heart monitoring could also become a lifesaver.

“It saved his life, I think every elderly person should have one,” she said.

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  • That’s amazing. Certainly hadn’t considered it being used in that context!


  • thats great that he managed to use the information to save his life.


  • oh wow that is amazing! it seems very handy and now i have heard a few stories of this fitbit alerting people to things.


  • I thought those for people who exercised a lot so they could keep track of their hearbeat and km they went while exercising.
    I wonder what other information you can access from them?


  • That is amazing – my father started using his Fitbit after his heart attack and it is helping him meet his fitness and health goals.


  • I would never have though that a device like this could be used in this way.


  • The daughter surely bought him a wonderful gift!!


  • Certainly a fairly cheap way to monitor things like heart problems.


  • Who would have known a FitBit could do this? So glad he shared this info with his Dr.


  • What a great story I’m glad the doctor had the idea to cheak heart monitoring results from the watch.


  • These gadgets can detect all sorts of changes in the body. They are really useful.


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