How Apple is saving lives with its Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has proved to be a hugely successful device for Apple, but one particular feature included in the smartwatch is also helping to save lives. The fall detection innovation, compatible with every Apple Watch from Series 4 onward, has helped save more than one life in recent months.
The Apple Watch included several health features. Photo: via Apple.

Fall detection

One such example of this occurred in September, when Gabe Burdett was on a mountain biking excursion in Riverside State Park in Spokane, Washington. His father’s Apple Watch was able to get in contact with Gabe after his bike had flipped over at the bottom of a trail, rendering him unconscious.

The Apple Watch the Burdett’s father was wearing also notified the authorities, and an ambulance was despatched in order to rescue him. Burdett believes that the Apple Watch saved his father’s life.

Both the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 are able to detect hard falls, at which point the devices will tap your wrist, sound an alarm, and display an alert, enabling users to contact the emergency services. As this feature could obviously be accessed inadvertently, the watch also gives you the option of stating that you’re fine, so that no emergency measures are taken.

Automatic contact

However, this is also an intelligent feature, as fall detection will automatically contact the emergency services if it perceives that a user has failed to move for more than a minute. Under these circumstances, the Apple Watch will send a message to the appropriate contacts, including your location, and the fact that you have suffered a hard fall.

The Apple Watch has proved to be a dominant device in the smartwatch niche. Photo: via Apple.

Another example of the Apple Watch saving lives occurred last month, when an apparently healthy young man was pointed in an appropriate medical direction by his Apple Watch. Chris Mint, aged just 30, was even considered a fitness fanatic, yet his Apple Watch alerted him one day to a potential atrial fibrillation. The ability to spot this serious health problem is included within all Apple Watch releases.

Mint was completely unaware of this feature, and figured that it was probably a bug. But when he had the issue checked out, he was amazed to discover that the Apple Watch was absolutely correct. Mint was told he had two leaking heart valves, and doctors explained to him that there was a distinct possibility that he would have suffered a heart attack or stroke without having the issue addressed.

Pictured is the special edition Nike version of the Apple Watch. Photo: via Apple.

Health tracking popularity

While smartwatches are yet to become as popular as smartphones, the health tracking functionality included within them has proved to be a major selling point. In what is an increasingly health-conscious society, the ability of the Apple Watch to monitor numerous vital signs and health indicators has proved more than a gimmick for many users.

The Apple Watch has dominated the smartwatch marketplace since debuting in 2015, and was responsible for over half of all device sales in the niche during 2018.

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