When Lauren Rebecca was diagnosed with a rare thyroid problem back in December it came after months of worsening symptoms that included fatigue, temperature sensitivity and weight gain.
So the 21-year-old Sydney student was understandably stunned when she discovered her Apple Watch had detected a dramatic change in one key health indicator all the way back in October.
The change could have saved her months of worsening symptoms and uncertainty, except Lauren hadn't been aware of the change because notifications for that setting were switched off at the time.
Lauren, who is a nursing student studying to get into postgraduate medicine, first thought she was "super tired" last October because of university work and lockdown.
"I've had all of these symptoms that were quite ongoing for a few months," she told news.com.au.
"With Covid and our healthcare system being so overwhelmed with everything I thought, 'no, no, I'm just tired, I'm just rundown, I'll be all right'."
But she also began to struggle with weight gain, dry skin, an irregular heartbeat and sensitivity to heat and cold.
"I'll go out in the sun and feel nauseous, and it's really subtle as well — the aircon pretty much has to be at 22 degrees at my house all the time," Lauren said.
Her symptoms eventually got worse, prompting her to got to her doctor and have the symptoms investigated in December.
An ultrasound of her neck revealed she had half of her thyroid missing, a rare congenital defect known as Thyroid hemiagenesis which only affects about 100 Australians.
The defect had caused Lauren to develop thyroiditis, a condition where the thyroid gland becomes swelled and inflamed and was causing her symptoms.
Last week, Lauren looked up Apple Watch's history and was stunned to find it had recorded a dramatic change in her health that if she had known, would have prompted her to seek medical help.
"I genuinely just went on it to see if everything was turned on," she said.
"I saw that there were alerts at the top of the app that had never come through as notifications because I didn't have notifications turned on … I looked through it and that's when I could see the trend that my Vo2 max had dropped, literally in a matter of days."
Vo2 max indicates how well your body is absorbing oxygen during exercise, with the drop meaning Lauren could suddenly not take in oxygen as well as she had previously.
Lauren is now awaiting treatment for her condition, which she says has caused her added stress while studying for the GAMSAT in March.
"That's a five and a half hour exam and at the moment I get so fatigued by lunchtime, so if I had detected it back in October it could have been put into action a bit quicker about treatment plans and potentially get on top of the fatigue," she said.
"I probably wouldn't be in this position of always being tired and [not knowing] whether it is going to impact my exam."
It's prompted her to make a TikTok video encouraging others to "make sure all these notifications are turned on right now", so they could be immediately notified if something was off.
"We have so much technology available and a lot of the time it's more of a burden than something positive," Lauren said.
"But something as simple as an Apple Watch if you've already got it, it just constantly monitors your heart rate, it monitors different things we do while exercising, things we wouldn't necessarily think to do like check our heart rate after we work out or while we're sleeping."