In a recent incident aboard a Ryanair flight from Birmingham to Verona, a British doctor, Dr. Rashid Riaz, utilized a flight attendant’s Apple Watch to aid a distressed woman in her 70s. When the woman, experiencing breathing difficulties, didn’t respond to initial inquiries, Dr. Riaz used the Apple Watch’s Blood Oxygen app, designed for general fitness and wellness, to assess her oxygen levels. Although not intended for medical use, the app proved instrumental, revealing low oxygen saturation.
Dr. Riaz requested an oxygen cylinder from the flight crew, stabilizing the woman’s oxygen levels until the plane landed in Italy. After landing, she received further medical attention and recovered swiftly. Dr. Riaz commended Ryanair for their handling of the situation but suggested airlines should consider having onboard diagnostic health tools for emergencies, such as measuring oxygen saturation and blood pressure.
Despite the Apple Watch’s assistance, a recent patent dispute with medical technology company Masim led to the exclusion of the Blood Oxygen app in Apple’s Series 9 and Ultra 2 Watches. Dr. Riaz emphasized the potential lifesaving impact of such tools during emergencies and called for their inclusion on flights. The Post reached out to both Ryanair and Apple for comments on the incident.