Apple Watch Series 4 fall detection credited with saving another life

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Apple Watch has helped save another life, this time an 87-year-old woman who got into a car crash after which the Apple Watch automatically dialed emergency services.

Apple Watch Series 4 fall detection alert
Apple Watch Series 4 fall detection alert


The incident took place in Kennebunk, Maine where on the way home from the grocery store, 87-year-old Dotty White was impaled by an oncoming driver. In the aftermath, White was unable to reach her phone or call for help. Fortunately she was wearing her Apple Watch Series 4. The Apple Watch identified the impact as a hard fall, triggering the fall detection feature. After a brief warning period where it could be cancelled, the watch then called emergency services as well as her emergency contacts.

"The watch dialed my son in Florida," White said to News Center Maine. It dialed my daughter in Massachusetts and my daughter in Maine. So they knew something had happened and they knew where it happened."

Her family members received the messages and quickly took action. James White -- her son -- called his sister who too had received the message. Her daughter being nearby, quickly took to her mother thanks to the location shared in the emergency notification.

White came out of the incident mostly okay with only a few broken bones as a result. "It's pretty nice to just have it on your wrist," she added said. "You have the time, the weather and help."

Apple added fall detection to Apple Watch with the Series 4. By default, the feature is disabled if under 65 but can be manually enabled for those who would prefer to have it active.

Enable Apple Watch fall detection
How to enable Apple Watch fall detection


Fall detection will monitor for three common types of falls including straight down, a trip, or a slip. It will then alert the wearer that a fall was detected when the updated accelerometer detects one of those motions. If there is no motion detected from the wearer, it will call emergency services and the predesignated emergency contacts and send then the location as well.

This isn't the first time fall detection has come in handy on Apple Watch. Earlier this year an 80-year-old received assistance after Apple Watch called for help after a tumble.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,263member
    I regard this as one of the very best features of the Apple Watch.
    As a nurse I got to see the results of an older person falling and laying on the floor for a couple days:  REALLY ugly.  And, when a nurse says its ugly, its U G L Y !

    But then as a HomeHealth nurse, I got to see the "I've fallen and can't get up" gadgets in action and they are sorely lacking:  many/most of my patients wouldn't wear them because they were embarrasing or ugly -- or they would only work in a limited area -- or they would remove them at the most dangerous times such as showering...

    Plus the Apple Watch has the ability to help older people with complex medication strategies where they are taking over a dozen pills a day through out the day and at different times...

    And as we progress further into separated families with seniors trying to live on their own, things that make that safer and easier become increasingly valuable.

    The AppleWatch's health and safety protections are only out shone by its exercise tracking and encouragement -- which may help the senior stay in good enough physical condition that they don't fall in the first place!

    As a nurse, I say THANK YOU APPLE!
    matrix077jbdragonAppleExposedDAalsethmacpluspluslollivermuthuk_vanalingamsteveauwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 15
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 781member
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    jbdragonAppleExposedwatto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 3 of 15
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Who here saw the headline and started singing "that" song from The Fray?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,356member
    matrix077 said:
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    Chances are they will fall at home. So long as there is WiFi you can access you can setup their Watches on your iPhones (which will carry over WiFi) so they can get that emergency option; or you could do the same with cellular Watches and pay the $10 monthly fee to your carrier.

    The real issue for them will be knowing how to and wanting to charge the Watch daily. My father wasn't about to do that so that the Watch was Neve going to be an option. For the majority of people there are less expensive, simpler devices with batteries that will last years. This will change over time as people familiar with wearable technology get older, but there will still always be a market for these other devices with other benefits. For instance, this wrist wearable device has an emergency button, but you need to get the one with the lanyard for it to detect a fall—but that could easily change in the next revision.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Here in Holland police wants to ban Apple Watch from traffic, because it can distract drivers and cyclists.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,029member
    No, it didn’t save a life. The woman suffered a couple of broken bones. Looks like the airbag didn’t even deploy.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    payecopayeco Posts: 340member
    She was struck by a car, not impaled by it. Impaled means to pierce with a sharp object like a blade or a stick.
    lolliversteveau
  • Reply 8 of 15
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 781member
    Soli said:
    matrix077 said:
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    Chances are they will fall at home. So long as there is WiFi you can access you can setup their Watches on your iPhones (which will carry over WiFi) so they can get that emergency option; or you could do the same with cellular Watches and pay the $10 monthly fee to your carrier.

    The real issue for them will be knowing how to and wanting to charge the Watch daily. My father wasn't about to do that so that the Watch was Neve going to be an option. For the majority of people there are less expensive, simpler devices with batteries that will last years. This will change over time as people familiar with wearable technology get older, but there will still always be a market for these other devices with other benefits. For instance, this wrist wearable device has an emergency button, but you need to get the one with the lanyard for it to detect a fall—but that could easily change in the next revision.

    Agree that charging will be the biggest hurdle for senior people. (Setting up will be easy. You just set it up for them like when you bought them iPad. And cellular will be better than WiFi version since if the watch replace mobile phone you could just shift phone cellular money to the watch. WiFi only is a bad idea.)
    (and btw, for senior people, using the watch to call their kids will be way easier than using iPhone since the watch will show contact photo in complication.)
    But they will hardly understand why they need to charge a watch so I’m prepared to tell them to think of it as a phone. My mother now knows to charge her iPhone 4 every night so hopefully when the time comes she could adapt to charging the watch every night as well. 
    edited June 27 lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,263member
    matrix077 said:
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    Yeh, similarly, I a few month ago bought a Series 3 LTE for my 12 year old grandson for $269.

    The requirement there is much the same:   Having a device always on his person that he could use to get help whenever needed.   (Often, swimming, playing sports, at rec centers, etc. he has to leave his phone behind -- so this broadens the scope of his "safe environment").

    The Apple Watch with LTE is a safety device for a variety of vulnerable populations.
    matrix077AppleExposedlolliverwatto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 10 of 15
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,672unconfirmed, member
    Do you have to hard press the "I'm OK" button? It seems scarily easy to accidentally tap when in fact you're not OK.

    Anyways, Apple Watch will save so many lives it won't be news anymore.
    lolliverwatto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 11 of 15
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 933member
    Soli said:
    matrix077 said:
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    Chances are they will fall at home. So long as there is WiFi you can access you can setup their Watches on your iPhones (which will carry over WiFi) so they can get that emergency option; or you could do the same with cellular Watches and pay the $10 monthly fee to your carrier.
    Cellular carriers in the USA are required to accept 911 calls from devices even if there is no current/active/paid service. $10/month fee isn't necessary for emergencies like these.
    AppleExposedwatto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 12 of 15
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,356member
    linkman said:
    Soli said:
    matrix077 said:
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    Chances are they will fall at home. So long as there is WiFi you can access you can setup their Watches on your iPhones (which will carry over WiFi) so they can get that emergency option; or you could do the same with cellular Watches and pay the $10 monthly fee to your carrier.
    Cellular carriers in the USA are required to accept 911 calls from devices even if there is no current/active/paid service. $10/month fee isn't necessary for emergencies like these.
    That slipped my mind. Thanks for bringing it up.
    AppleExposedlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,263member
    matrix077 said:
    Soli said:
    matrix077 said:
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    Chances are they will fall at home. So long as there is WiFi you can access you can setup their Watches on your iPhones (which will carry over WiFi) so they can get that emergency option; or you could do the same with cellular Watches and pay the $10 monthly fee to your carrier.

    The real issue for them will be knowing how to and wanting to charge the Watch daily. My father wasn't about to do that so that the Watch was Neve going to be an option. For the majority of people there are less expensive, simpler devices with batteries that will last years. This will change over time as people familiar with wearable technology get older, but there will still always be a market for these other devices with other benefits. For instance, this wrist wearable device has an emergency button, but you need to get the one with the lanyard for it to detect a fall—but that could easily change in the next revision.

    Agree that charging will be the biggest hurdle for senior people. (Setting up will be easy. You just set it up for them like when you bought them iPad. And cellular will be better than WiFi version since if the watch replace mobile phone you could just shift phone cellular money to the watch. WiFi only is a bad idea.)
    (and btw, for senior people, using the watch to call their kids will be way easier than using iPhone since the watch will show contact photo in complication.)
    But they will hardly understand why they need to charge a watch so I’m prepared to tell them to think of it as a phone. My mother now knows to charge her iPhone 4 every night so hopefully when the time comes she could adapt to charging the watch every night as well. 
    I'm glad to see you working through the potential problems with your mom.   Good for you!

    The objections to the AppleWatch based on it "being too complicated" kind of baffle me:
    If a person is too far gone to understand why something needs charged then I doubt that any other device will work for them.  (But, if the little charging disk is too hard for them to manipulate then there are other wireless chargers where they just lay the watch on.)
    As for complexity:   strap it on in the morning, take it off at night.  And again, if they don't understand that they probably won't understand the need to put on clothes, take medicine or other necessary actions as well.

    I think those who judge the Apple Watch based on the needs of a person who requires full time HomeCare are misguided. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    steveausteveau Posts: 252member
    matrix077 said:
    And think about in a couple of years S4 will be substantially cheaper, so much so that you can buy a few of them for your grandparents without blinking an eye, and you might have no need for iPhone too since the watch could be independent by then. 
    Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place right before our own eyes. 
    "Apple Watch strategy is beginning to fall into place" -Good pun - well done!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    Bart YBart Y Posts: 13unconfirmed, member
    hentaiboy said:
    No, it didn’t save a life. The woman suffered a couple of broken bones. Looks like the airbag didn’t even deploy.
    We know that after the fact.  The issue is, the collision was hard enough to trigger a fall alert AND break bones in this person's body.  That's sufficient force to potentially kill someone if the person's head was hit, there was flying debris or shrapnel, or the impact was on the side of the car (T-Boned) instead of head on or from behind.  Broken bones can also be the source of bleeding, fat emboli, air emboli and other complications which, if not treated quickly and promptly, are potentially life threatening or life changing.

    The important thing is that emergency services and contacts were all notified and help was rendered quickly, whereas without the automatic notification, precious minutes can be lost.  This is especially critical for injuries to older people over 65 because their bones are more easily broken, head trauma can easily lead to intra-cranial bleeding and stroke or worse, and extricating one's self from a damaged vehicle may not be possible.
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