Apple Watch fall detection enabled emergency services in Germany to go to the aid of an 80-year-old woman who fell in her apartment.
The Apple Watch detected her fall and called 112, the emergency number in Germany …
Munich’s fire department reported the event.
Her watch was equipped with a fall detection system and alerted the emergency services after the fall. A dispatcher in the control center accepted the emergency call. He heard a Watch announcement telling him that a person had fallen heavily. The Watch also transmitted the coordinates of the scene of the accident.
The police used the data to identify an address, and an ambulance was sent. The ambulance crew found that the door was locked and the retiree could not open it. Then they called for the fire department, which opened the apartment door by force.
The smartwatch also alerted the woman’s son, whose phone number was registered in the Watch as an emergency number.
The good news in this case was that the woman was not injured, just shaken by the fall, and her son was able to take care of her once the paramedics had finished checking her over.
The Apple Watch has previously been credited with playing a key role in other falls. In October of last year, it detected the fall of a man who suffered sudden back pain while cooking, and was unable to turn off the stove. And, in a more serious case, the Watch was credited with saving the life of a 67-year-old man who was found ‘bleeding and unconscious’ after a fall in his bathroom.
Fall detection is enabled by default for those aged 65 and over, to prevent false alarms from people who are more likely to engage in sports which could trigger the feature. However, Zac Hall wondered whether it should be enabled for all after experiencing just one alert – from a genuine fall – in six months.
If you have an Apple Watch Series 4, want to enable Apple Watch fall detection, check out our guide here. Note that the functionality is not available on earlier models as they lack the next-gen accelerometer and gyroscope required.
While Apple originally marketed the Watch primarily on the basis of notifications, it soon adjusted its marketing to focus much more on health and fitness functionality.