fitness-bands-A fitness device can help doctors give you better care. Treatment for ‘arrhythmias’ vary dependent upon how long your heart has been out of normal rhythm, so knowing exactly when a heart started beating ‘to a different drum’ permits more accurate and quicker therapy.

Recently, an ER doc used a patient’s personal activity tracker and smartphone to ID exactly when his heart had skipped into a rapid, dangerous rhythm.

The case, recorded in the article “Interrogation of Patient Activity Tracker to Assist Arrhythmia Management,” reported how a Fitbit™ helped the medical decision.

“Using the patient’s activity tracker – in this case, a Fitbit – we were able to pinpoint exactly when the patient’s normal heart rate of 70 jumped up to 190,” said corresponding study author Alfred Sacchetti, MD, FACEP of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, N.J. “The device told us that the patient’s atrial fibrillation was present for only a few hours.”

The patient was 42 years old – so take your tracker with you wherever you go.