Chalk up another life that might have been saved by the fall detection feature on the Apple Watch. Those with a Series 4 or Series 5 model will feel a haptic "tap" if the timepiece detects a heavy fall. An alarm will ring and the screen on the device will ask if the user is okay or whether emergency services is needed. If after a minute the watch doesn't detect any movement from the user, it will call emergency services and the device owner's emergency contacts.
Another life-saving feature is expected on the Apple Watch Series 6
KTAR news radio reported (via 9to5Mac) on Friday about a phone call that was received by the Police Department in the city of Chandler. A spokeswoman for the department revealed how it received a phone call from an Apple Watch that explained how its owner had suffered a fall and gave the longitude and latitude of the user's location so that he could be found. The watch owner had fainted and collapsed leaving him unable to make an emergency call. The Apple Watch had done its job without its owner even knowing that a call to emergency services had been made. "He wasn't aware that any help was coming until we were already there," said the spokeswoman.Arizona's
Fall detection is just one of three life-saving features available on the Apple Watch. The timepiece's heart rate monitor
has already been credited with saving a number of lives as has the electrocardiogram (ECG) feature that has been available on the Apple Watch since the Series 4 model. What the heart rate monitor does is self-explanatory. The ECG monitors the rhythm of the user's heart. Any detected abnormality is flagged since it could indicate that the owner of the device has atrial fibrillation (AFib). This condition can lead to blood clots, strokes, and heart problems.
Another possible life-saving feature could be coming to the Apple Watch Series 6 which is expected to be introduced in September. A new pulse oximeter tool will supposedly be added to the next version of the timepiece. This tool measures the amount of oxygen being carried by the body's red blood cells. Blood oxygen readings of 95% or higher are considered to be normal while readings under 90% are abnormal. The pulse oximeter hit the headlines back in April when a doctor discovered that exceptionally low readings without any outward signs of distress could be an early warning signal of coronavirus. FDA approval is required so the feature might be disabled when the watch starts shipping. Apple had to do the same thing with the ECG feature when the Series 4 model was released.
The next Apple Watch might also monitor a user's mental health by warning them about an impending panic attack. The watch would monitor several physical metrics and would issue an alert if they all pointed to the onset of a debilitating attack. The owner of the watch would also manually input symptoms to improve the accuracy of the feature and the watch will suggest breathing exercises to ward off the feelings.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is also rumored to come with a long-desired feature that many other smartwatch models already have: a native sleep monitoring app. In addition, there is speculation that the Apple Watch Series 6 will be equipped with a larger capacity battery and a new chip. Interestingly, it is the longer battery life that is allowing Apple to add the native sleep app to the device. And Apple has reportedly added some new tech to its next-gen smartwatch that will allow users to navigate the device underwater or when the display is wet. The current Apple Watch Series 5 is water-resistant to 50 meters.