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After being summoned automatically by an Apple Watch to a senior citizen’s fall, a police officer turned to Reddit to discuss how Fall Detection on the Apple Watch is responded to by emergency services.
Apple added fall detection with the Apple Watch Series 4, and it’s available on all subsequent models, including the Apple Watch SE. It’s repeatedly been credited with saving lives, and now a police officer has talked about what happens from the emergency services’ perspective when the Apple Watch detects a fall.
Writing on Reddit under the username Tropicott, the officer says that he or she was “dispatched to a call that we received from an Apple Watch due to its fall detection feature.
“History on the residence doesn’t come back with anything and all callbacks were negative,” continues the officer. “I get to the residence and notice all the lights on. Someone is home. Knock on the door, no answer.”
“Through the glass panes I notice pictures of a family but mostly of an elderly women so to me I kind of thought that’s who lived here,” says the officer. “The door luckily was unlocked. I opened it, announced myself, and I just heard groaning.”
“I ran upstairs and found the elderly lady laying on her back, half her face covered in blood,” the officer continues. “Right away I call Emergency Health Services for medical attention.”
The woman had been feeling nauseous during the day, and then fainted after standing up. She did not know that her Watch had called the police, says the officer, “I guess during her state she wasn’t in the right mind to understand how…”
“[She] is now being medically treated and will make a full recovery,” continued the officer. “I always knew about the Apple Watch feature but damn was it cool to see it in action.”
The remainder of the thread is filled with other accounts of the Apple Watch fall detection. Additionally, other users discuss how the Apple Watch was used in their own falls and accidents.
Fall detection is automatically enabled on Apple Watch, but only for users aged 55 or over — and their correct age is entered in the iPhone’s Health app. For users younger than 55, it’s sufficiently likely that many physical activities would cause false positives that the feature is off by default.