As someone who works at a rehabilitation hospital, I hear plenty of stories from patients regarding falls. How they don’t remember falling, to how they couldn’t get back up. And how some have had to yell out for hours until someone could hear them.
As a result, many go through weeks of rehabilitation, but the reality is some falls are fatal. While Apple Watch cannot stop falls, it can automatically get you to help in the event one has taken place. The feature is called Fall Detection.
Inside Apple Watch are a number of sensors including an accelerometer and gyroscope. These enable the watch to analyse wrist trajectory and impact acceleration. Using these two sensors and some algorithms, Apple Watch can detect if and when a hard fall has occurred.
If Apple Watch detects a fall has occurred it will automatically alert you. By providing you with the option to call emergency services or dismiss it entirely. But what happens if you black out during the fall?
An emergency call is automatically initiated if your Apple Watch detects you have fallen and have remained motionless for one minute. Apple Watch will even play an automatic message and send your location to emergency contacts – which in Australia is, of course, triple zero (000). It will also send a message to those in your contacts you have listed as emergency contacts.
The result has been life-saving for many Apple Watch wearers around the world. With stories about how ambulance services have been able to save their lives. And how those who have fallen, but live alone, have been able to get some help.
Fall detection on Apple Watch is available on Series 4 models and can be enabled in the Watch app on your iPhone. But it is enabled automatically if you are over the age of 65. Unfortunately, earlier models do not have the feature because of the requirement of next-generation sensors.
Apple Watch can be purchased from Apple’s online store with free, fast delivery and 14-day returns.