Man credits Apple Watch Fall Detection for saving his life

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 30
A North Carolina man's life was saved when, unknown to him, his Apple Watch detected him falling, and called emergency services automatically.

Mike Yager with the cuts and bruising he got from his fall. Source: Fox News
Mike Yager with the cuts and bruising he got from his fall. Source: Fox News


Apple Watch has saved lives before, and sometimes surprises its wearers by detecting problems they are unaware of. Now, however, a man has been rescued by the Summerfield Fire Department before he even knew his Watch could send an emergency message.

"The first thing I asked [the officer] was, 'How did you guys know to get here?' and he said, 'Your watch sent us a message,'" 78-year-old Mike Yager told Fox News. "And I said 'What?'"

Yager had reportedly fallen hard in his driveway, breaking his nose, and passing out. When he didn't respond to his Apple Watch, it automatically called 911.

"[Apple Watch is] kind of expensive," continued Yager, "but I think it's well worth it if you are over 65... you definitely need to do something like [get a Watch]."

The man's wife, Lori Yager, told Fox News that the Summerfield Fire Department officer showed her his log saying the alert had come from her husband's Apple Watch.

"I was speechless, I didn't know what to say," she said. "I wasn't due to come home for another couple hours and who knows what would have happened when I got home."

The ability to detect a fall is automatically enabled in the Apple Watch Series 4, or later, if the owner is over 65.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    In today's news Apple Watch is working as intended. 
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 16
    KTRKTR Posts: 121member
    I’m waiting for carbon monoxide detector 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    fred1fred1 Posts: 807member
    Maybe you’re not impressed, but I am, just as I was when a branch I was standing on broke and I fell to the next one. I was fortunate enough to be able to turn off the warning on my watch, but I was grateful to have it. 
    radarthekatqwerty52beowulfschmidtlolliverdj2k3000watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 16
    amar99amar99 Posts: 79member
    Always good to hear stories like this.
    radarthekatqwerty52byronllolliverdj2k3000watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 16
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 488member
    KTR said:
    I’m waiting for carbon monoxide detector 
    That would definitely be cool, what about a smoke detector?
    qwerty52watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,869member
    Did it actually save his life?   Does it matter?   As a nurse I saw people who had fallen and ended up laying there for a couple days.  It was ugly.  And, their lives were changed for the worse.  Much worse.  But, being in the hospital, I never got to see how they did after discharge -- but the prospect were not good.  And that is typical of older, debilitated people:  Their lives don't take a long slow slide downhill but it's usually a set of steps where things are stable for a while, then something happens and they take a step down.   Then they subsist at that lower level of functioning until they take the next step down.

    But, I absolutely agree with this gentleman that everybody over 65 should not only have an Apple Watch with fall detection but, I would add, one with LTE so it can call for help whether you have your phone with you or not.

    That ability to detect falls and call for help is the main reason why I wear mine at night:  the sleep tracking is nice but mostly its a safety device if I have to get up at night and maneuver to the bathroom through a dark house while half asleep.   I even wear it in the shower -- which is known as a huge fall risk itself.

    As a home health nurse I saw those people who had the "I've fallen and can't get up" devices.   They were good.  But the people tended to remove them when they were most needed -- like at night and in the shower -- or out doing yard work.   The Apple Watch solves those problems.
    larryjwradarthekatdj2k3000watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Is the ability to detect a fall automatically enabled in the Apple Watch Series 4, or later, if the owner isn’t over 65? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 537member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    KTR said:
    I’m waiting for carbon monoxide detector 
    That would definitely be cool, what about a smoke detector?
    By the time smoke reaches levels detectable on a watch-scale sensor, the wearer is maybe 30 seconds from death.

    Is the ability to detect a fall automatically enabled in the Apple Watch Series 4, or later, if the owner isn’t over 65? 
    No. That's why they said it's enabled by default if the owner is over 65. That wouldn't be worth noting if it was enabled by default for everybody, or if the threshold age were different.  ;)

    You can enable it manually, and I think most people should. Younger people can still slip or trip and get knocked unconscious. If you fall, the watch beeps loudly and presents an alert that it is about to call 911. If you don't cancel the call within a few seconds (ten, I think?), the watch places the call. Over the phone, it announces to emergency services that it is an Apple Watch calling on behalf of its owner, who has suffered a fall and is not responsive. It provides the location via E911 data, and reads out heart rate (and maybe new ones read out pulse ox) while waiting for emergency services. Very neat stuff.
    lolliverdj2k3000watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,869member
    Is the ability to detect a fall automatically enabled in the Apple Watch Series 4, or later, if the owner isn’t over 65? 
    I don't think fall detection on the Apple Watch has any connection to age.
    But the healthcare system assumes you are more likely to fall if you are over 65 because they substitute chronological age generalizations for health and physical fitness.

    My PCP had to ask the standard Medicare questions at my last checkup -- including the "Have you fallen in the last 12 months".  My answer was that I tripped over a leaf covered, half buried rock while out running in the woods -- which is something none of my doctors would be able to do and, in fact, she was in a cast after breaking her ankle when she tripped over a curb).  But somehow it was me who got classified as a fall risk!

    radarthekat
  • Reply 10 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,661member
    I purchased an AW4 when it first came out.  It wasn't for me.  Just could not see the attraction of it.  However, if Apple ever gets a blood-glucose measuring on it, I will buy it again on the spot.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    dave marshdave marsh Posts: 333member
    Is the ability to detect a fall automatically enabled in the Apple Watch Series 4, or later, if the owner isn’t over 65? 
    I don't think fall detection on the Apple Watch has any connection to age.
    But the healthcare system assumes you are more likely to fall if you are over 65 because they substitute chronological age generalizations for health and physical fitness.

    My PCP had to ask the standard Medicare questions at my last checkup -- including the "Have you fallen in the last 12 months".  My answer was that I tripped over a leaf covered, half buried rock while out running in the woods -- which is something none of my doctors would be able to do and, in fact, she was in a cast after breaking her ankle when she tripped over a curb).  But somehow it was me who got classified as a fall risk!

    Apple Watch automatically turns on Fall Detection calls if you’ve entered your age in the Health App or Emergency Contact area and you’re over 55.  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208944
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,869member
    sflocal said:
    I purchased an AW4 when it first came out.  It wasn't for me.  Just could not see the attraction of it.  However, if Apple ever gets a blood-glucose measuring on it, I will buy it again on the spot.
    That's interesting!   I purchased a Series 4 to replace my Series 1 which replaced a Series 0.
    At this point, if I had to choose, I would choose the watch over my iPhone.  Technically that's impossible.  But I use my watch more and depend on it more than I do my iPhone.  Actually, except for CarPlay, most of the stuff I use my phone for could be better done on a $350 iPad.  But nothing could replace my watch and all the things it does so well.

    qwerty52
  • Reply 13 of 16
    In April 2018 Apple called one morning to tell me my watch had detected a rapid heart beat during the night while I was sleeping. They asked me to wear a heart monitor, free, for two weeks for their research.  I agreed, and they later sent report to my doctor, who confirmed I have atrial fibrillation, A-fib.  I now have a pacemaker and take appropriate meds.  Feel lucky to have turned 91st recently.  Needless to say, I love my Apple watch. 
    coolfactorradarthekatGeorgeBMaclolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,816member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    KTR said:
    I’m waiting for carbon monoxide detector 
    That would definitely be cool, what about a smoke detector?

    I'd love a smoke detector so that I can let me landlord know how much cigarette smoke comes from our neighbour's property.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    BorderGal said:
    In April 2018 Apple called one morning to tell me my watch had detected a rapid heart beat during the night while I was sleeping. They asked me to wear a heart monitor, free, for two weeks for their research.  I agreed, and they later sent report to my doctor, who confirmed I have atrial fibrillation, A-fib.  I now have a pacemaker and take appropriate meds.  Feel lucky to have turned 91st recently.  Needless to say, I love my Apple watch. 
    91 years old? That’s impressive. I bet you’ve gotten to see a lot of changes in the world over that time. The one thing I enjoy about aging is having remote memories of old times that seem almost worlds apart from the current day. 
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMaclolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 16 of 16
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 311member
    sflocal said:
    I purchased an AW4 when it first came out.  It wasn't for me.  Just could not see the attraction of it.  However, if Apple ever gets a blood-glucose measuring on it, I will buy it again on the spot.
    That's interesting!   I purchased a Series 4 to replace my Series 1 which replaced a Series 0.
    At this point, if I had to choose, I would choose the watch over my iPhone.  Technically that's impossible.  But I use my watch more and depend on it more than I do my iPhone.  Actually, except for CarPlay, most of the stuff I use my phone for could be better done on a $350 iPad.  But nothing could replace my watch and all the things it does so well.


    Absolutely! For me to.
    watto_cobra
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