Veterinarian measures lion's tongue's heart rate with Apple Watch and makes a surprising discovery

Viral video: In a groundbreaking move to monitor wildlife health, veterinarians in Australia are now using Apple Watches to check the health of wild animals. Dr. Chloe Buiting, known online as “@Jungle_doctor,” recently shared a video on Instagram highlighting this innovative approach. The video shows a tranquilized lion with an Apple Watch on its tongue, demonstrating the remarkable potential of the technology in animal welfare.

Dr. Buiting explained in the caption: “@apple Watch can measure a lion's heart rate by tying it to its tongue… a true 'technology meets conservation' story.” This off-label use of the Apple Watch highlights the innovative ways in which technology can contribute to conservation.

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The technique was inspired by Dr. Fabiola Quesada, a renowned wildlife veterinarian who first used an Apple Watch to measure an elephant's heart rate by attaching it to the animal's ear. This method has proven to be a safe and effective solution for monitoring the vital signs of large wild animals.

Veterinarians attach Apple Watch to the tongue of a sedated lion to monitor its heart rate in real time during medical procedures. This innovation ensures efficient monitoring of the animal's vital signs and ultimately contributes to improved animal care.

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The Apple Watch uses photoplethysmography technology to measure heart rate. This method is based on the fact that blood absorbs green light and reflects red light. The watch uses green LED lights paired with light-sensitive photodiodes to detect changes in blood flow. By flashing the LEDs hundreds of times per second, the watch measures how much green light is absorbed and calculates heart rate.

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Apple says the sensor can handle a wide range of 30 to 210 beats per minute. To ensure accuracy, it compensates for weak signals by increasing LED brightness and sampling rate. In addition, the sensor can use infrared light for background heart rate checks and notifications.

During activities such as workouts and mindfulness exercises, the watch switches to green LEDs for more precise heart rate monitoring. This can calculate the average heart rate while walking and assess heart rate variability (HRV).

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This innovative use of technology represents a significant advancement in animal care and shows how modern devices can play a critical role in protecting wildlife.

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