One of the main justifications of getting a smartwatch is for the health benefits, with many seeing the fitness tracking and prompts as the most important feature of the wearables.
Apple has been leading the way with other ways to monitor health, including ECG monitoring. One feature users are also prompted to activate on setup is Fall Detection, but this is usually seen as only helpful to the elderly.
An inspiring story posted on Facebook by the son of an Apple Watch user suggests we may all benefit from having this feature on our wrist.
The post tells a story of an accident which could happen to anyone, saying:
PSA: Last Sunday while trying to meet up with my dad for some mountain biking in Riverside State Park (MTB in RSP), I get a text from dad’s Apple Watch letting me know it “detected a Hard Fall” with a map to his location. It was not far from our meeting spot. We drove straight there—but he was gone when we arrived. I get another update from the watch saying his location has changed with a map location of SHMC. Dad flipped his bike at the bottom of Doomsday, hit his head and was knocked out until sometime during the ambulance ride. The watch had called 911 with his location and EMS had him scooped up and to the hospital in under a 1/2 hr. The fire dept. took his bike back to the station. My brother was already driving by the the hospital when the second update came in and was able to be with him right away. Dad is doing great, clear X-Rays and CT scan, but a little sore for sure!
IF YOU OWN AN APPLE WATCH, set up your HARD FALL detection—It’s not just for when you fall off a roof or a ladder. Had he fallen somewhere on the High Drive trails or another remote area, the location would have clued EMS in on where to find him. Amazing technology and so glad he had it!
When Fall Detection is activated the watch will initiate its Emergency SOS routine if you take a hard fall and don’t seem to move. Before the call, the Apple Watch will give an alert it detected a fall and if you don’t respond it will tap your wrist, sound an alarm, and then call emergency services.
Fall Detection recently also came to Samsung’s Galaxy Active smartwatches, and given that this feature requires little more than an accelerometer and a Bluetooth connection to your phone, this incident suggests it is a feature most smartwatches and fitness trackers should support.