wearables

Apple Watch calls cops, gets medical help for unconscious owner

The Apple Watch owner had fainted and collapsed and was unable to seek help. The watch called the police department for him and shared his location coordinates. 

Fall detection in the Apple Watch is one of the three life-saving features on it.
Fall detection in the Apple Watch is one of the three life-saving features on it. (Pixabay)

Apple Watch seems to have saved another life thanks to its fall detection feature. The Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 owners will feel a haptic tap if the watch detects a heavy fall, this is followed by an alarm and the screen on the watch lights up asking the user if he/she is ok or if emergency services are needed. If there is no reply or movement for a minute, the Apple Watch will call emergency services and those listed under the device owner’s emergency contacts.

According to 9to5Mac, Arizona’s KTAR news radio reported the case of a phone call that the police department in the city of Chandler received. The spokesperson for the police department revealed that they had received a call from the Apple Watch that explained that its owner had fallen and gave the longitude and latitude details of the owner’s location.

The watch’s owner had fainted and collapsed and was unable to make an emergency call, so Apple Watch did the rest. "He wasn't aware that any help was coming until we were already there," said the spokeswoman.

Fall detection in the Apple Watch is one of the three life-saving features on it. The Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor has already been credited for saving lives with its ECG function. If the watch has detected an abnormality, which indicates that the owner might have atrial fibrillation (AFib) which is a condition that can lead to heart problems, blood clots and stroke, it gets flagged and the owner is made aware of the issue.

The Apple Watch is expected to bring in a pulse oximeter too in the Apple Watch 6 which will measure the amount of oxygen being carried by the body’s red blood cells. Blood oxygen readings that are 95% or above are considered to be normal, a drop below 90% is abnormal. The pulse oximeter hit headlines in April when a doctor pointed out that that exceptionally low readings without any outward sign of distress could be an early warning signal for coronavirus.

This feature requires FDA approval, much like the ECG function did, so the chances are that Apple might disable it till approvals are acquired.

The Apple Watch 6 is also expected to monitor the user’s mental health by warning them about an impending panic attack. It will monitor several physical metrics and issue an alert if they all point towards an onset of a debilitating panic attack. The watch owner will also manually have to put in symptoms to improve the accuracy of the feature. The watch is going to suggest breathing exercises to deal with panic.

Besides these two features, the Apple Watch 6 is also going to come with sleep tracking.