Fall detection on the Apple Watch saves the same man twice over a two-year period

Fall detection on the Apple Watch saves the same man twice over a two-year period
Over the years we've passed along examples of how the Apple Watch was able to save a person's life. Among the features that have kept an Apple Watch user from crossing over is the heart rate monitor. Readings that are too high or too low need to be evaluated in the ER. Another potential life-saving feature is the fall detection feature that can determine when an Apple Watch wearer suffers a fall and isn't responding appropriately.

Dan Pfau's life has been saved not once, but twice by the Apple Watch

This morning, we have a pair of interesting cases involving the world's most popular timepiece, and this time the Apple Watch saved this man not once, but twice over a two-year period. According to AppleInsider, two years ago 70-year old Dan Pfau was vacationing in Martha's Vineyard when he fell off his bicycle after negotiating a speed bump with his bike. "The next thing I remember was waking up in the ambulance," he said.

Pfau's fall triggered his Apple Watch which called emergency services after it determined that he was unresponsive. He ended up airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital, where doctors found a minor brain hemorrhage that healed on its own. Pfau's closing comment about that case summed everything up: "I don't know if I would have died otherwise, but it certainly would have been more serious," he said.

Fast forward ahead a couple of years to July 2021 and once again Dan Pfau, two years older and two years wiser, fainted and hit his head. ""I have a history of fainting," Pfau said. "I hit my head on the hardwood floor and I started bleeding significantly."He managed to get to a nearby bathroom where he passed out again. Conscious, the injured Pfau this time felt that the injury was not serious and so he dismissed the alert from his Apple Watch.

But not terribly long after dismissing the alarm, Dan felt that this injury was more serious than he first realized and used the timepiece to dictate a message for his wife. Picking up some unusual frequent-flyer points, Pfau was airlifted once again to Massachusetts General where he received nine stitches for a wound on his forehead. He also suffered fractured vertebrae.

While Pfau has other watches he could put on his wrist, he says that the Apple Watch has saved his life twice, so why should he wear something else. Or, as he puts it, "I have nicer-looking regular watches," but considering that he owes his life to the timepiece not once but twice, "it would be foolish not to wear it."

The fall detection feature is enabled automatically for those 55 and older wearing an Apple Watch

The fall detection feature is automatically enabled when a user 55 or older is setting up his Apple Watch using the iPhone's Watch app. If you're younger than 55 and still want the feature enabled, open the Watch app and tap on Emergency SOS. Toggle on Fall Detection. Set up your emergency contacts. If your Apple Watch detects a hard fall, it taps you on the wrist, sounds an alarm, and sends out an alert. Using the Digital Crown, you can dismiss the alarm.

If the Apple Watch determines that you are moving around, it will put off making an emergency call unless it concludes that you have not been able to move for about a minute. After 60 seconds, if you are not mobile, the Apple Watch will send out a call to emergency services explaining the situation and your current latitude and longitude coordinates. After calling emergency services, the watch will call your emergency contacts, explain that you have suffered a hard fall, and will include the location where the incident took place.

Other potential Apple Watch life-saving features include the ECG (electrocardiogram) that can scan for irregular heart rhythms and the Blood Oxygen monitor that measures the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood. A reading that is too low could indicate that there could be a problem with your circulation or with your lungs.

We expect to see the Apple Watch Series 7 introduced in a matter of weeks alongside the new iPhone 13 series.
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