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Apple Watch ‘fall detection’ feature credited with saving man’s life

Published Feb 4th, 2019 9:03PM EST
Apple Watch Fall Detection
Image: Shutterstock

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One of the more interesting things about the Apple Watch is how the narrative behind the wearable has seemingly done a 180. Early on, the Apple Watch was positioned as something of a fashion accessory. Remember, for instance, the outrageously expensive Apple Watch Edition? Today, in sharp contrast, Apple prefers to tout the device as a fitness tracker and health monitor.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen quite a few stories involving the heart rate monitor on the Apple Watch being used to detect potentially life-threatening health conditions. Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to say that the Apple Watch has helped save numerous lives at this point. And now comes word that the fall detection feature first introduced on the Apple Watch Series 4 has started saving lives as well.

According to a report from NRK, a 67-year old from Norway named Toralv Østvang credits his Apple Watch with saving his life. The story is that Østvang experienced a serious fall in his bathroom whereupon his Apple Watch automatically contacted rescue personnel. Recall, the Apple Watch, upon detecting a fall, will send a message to local emergency services — along with information regarding your location —  if it detects that a user has been immobile for a full minute following a fall.

About a half hour after the fall, rescue workers arrived on the scene and found Østvang lying on his bathroom floor, unconscious and bloody. In the midst of the fall, Østvang also sustained three fractures to his face.

The fall detection feature on the Apple Watch is obviously geared towards older folks and, as a result, is off by default unless a user happens to be 65 or older.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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