Smartwatch Saves Two Lives


The health functions of the Apple Watch are in the news again and are said to have saved at least two lives—one in Minnesota and one in Ohio. The feature taking the spotlight was Fall Detection.

Apple Watch user Michael Brodkorb was struck by a car in Minnesota before it fled the scene. When he could not react, his Apple Watch used Fall Detection to identify the impact and called 911. "I was just shocked," he said. "I mean, just the sheer force of what it's like to get hit by a vehicle."

Besides getting fast emergency response help, the Fall Detection feature warned his wife and kids. He ended up with rib and tailbone injuries. "It absolutely is a life-saving tool," Brodkorb said.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, responded to an email Brodkorb sent to him, wishing him a swift recovery.

William Fryer, 83, of Cincinnati, was strolling along the Ohio River Trail when he fell. There was nobody nearby, but his Apple Watch saw the fall, alerted his daughter, and phoned emergency personnel.

He was found by Cincinnati police, who then had paramedics take him to the hospital. The huge blood clot that caused his fall was ultimately discovered by X-rays, although the symptoms of the blood clot were unusual because they went unnoticed. Fryer had the clot removed and expressed his gratitude that his Apple Watch had called for help.

Opening the Apple Watch iPhone app, selecting Emergency SOS, then turning on the Fall Detection option will enable the Apple Watch's fall detection capability. For Apple Watch owners over 55, Fall Detection is turned on by default; however, younger Apple Watch owners can also activate it.


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