Fall Detection with the Apple Watch: All You Need To Know

Dec. 30th, 2019   /   , , , ,

The Apple smartwatch now comes with an industry-leading fall detection technology that can help save lives. The Apple smartwatch will also give rise to a whole new world of litigation discovery requests. Since the watch tacks when someone falls, where they fall, and how hard they fell, this can prove to be crucial in a slip and fall litigation case. The data from the watch can be utilized to help prove or disprove whether someone fell and the circumstances leading up to the fall. Without further ado, the basic features of the Apple smartwatch are highlighted below.

How Fall Detection Works

apple-watch-fall detectionLater versions of the Apple Watch come with an advanced sensor that can trigger an alarm, display an alert, and tap the wrist of the person wearing the device in case of a hard fall. One can choose to dismiss the alert or to contact emergency services.

The sensor technology keeps track of any movement from the part of the wearer. If the system detects movement, it will wait for a minute for the person to respond. If there is no action on the part of the wearer or the system detects no movement for a minute, Apple Watch will call the emergency services.

Upon completion of the call, the smartwatch will notify the emergency contacts with a message. It includes information about your location. The system lets your emergency contacts know that the smartwatch has detected a fall accident and that it has already called the emergency services.

Making a Call

If the person is able to operate his Apple Watch, he only needs to slide the Emergency SOS button in the notification screen.

Ending the Call

You can terminate the call by tapping on the “End Call” button. Tap yes on the following “End Call” screen.

In Case the System Detects No Movement

If the system does not detect movement for 60 seconds, it initiates a 30-second countdown. At the same time, the Apple Watch will tap the person on the wrist. It also sounds an alert, which grows louder. The loudness of the alert should help attract the attention of other people in the area. The person can choose to cancel the action. If the countdown ends and there is still no action from the wearer, the system will automatically contact the emergency service number.

The smartwatch plays an audio recording once it has connected to the emergency service number. It informs the emergency service provider that the system was able to detect a hard fall. It shares with the provider the current location of the wearer in terms of longitude and latitude coordinates.

The audio recording plays in a loop. It is at full volume the first time it plays. It plays at a reduced volume in succeeding cycles. This will allow the person or anyone else within the vicinity to talk to the emergency responder. The person can also choose to stop the audio recording.

It is important to turn on the Wrist Detection feature of the Apple Watch for it to call emergency services automatically. One can do this by going to the Settings menu on the smartwatch and tapping the Passcode. Turn on the Wrist Detection feature.

Recording of Falls

Apple’s Health app keeps a record of all falls. However, if the person replied that he or she did not fall, then this incident does not get recorded in the app. One can check his or her fall history in the iPhone’s Health app. Tap on “Health Data” and then “Results”.

Managing the Fall Detection Feature

You can also turn on or off the Fall Detection features of the Apple Watch. Use your iPhone to manage the Apple Watch feature. Tap the tab that says “My Watch” and then tap the “Emergency SOS” selection. You can then slide the button left or right to turn the feature on or off.

People who entered their age during the Health app or Apple Watch setup process and who are at least 65 years old can expect this feature to be set on automatic. People who lead very active lifestyles may want to turn the feature off as high-impact activities can trigger the calling of emergency services.

Setting Up Emergency Contacts and Medical ID

The Fall Detection feature of the Apple Watch works best if you set up your Medical ID as well as emergency contacts. Open the Settings menu on your iPhone and go to Health and then Medical ID. Tap on “Edit” and provide your birthdate as well as other health-related information.

Tap the “plus” button under the Emergency Contacts. Tap the name of the person you want to make as an emergency contact. Tap “Done” once finished.

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