In a remarkable incident underscoring the vital role of wearable technology in health emergencies, an Apple Watch Ultra’s fall detection feature played a lifesaving role for a Las Vegas man suffering from type 1 diabetes.
The Lifesaving Incident
Josh Furman, a 40-year-old resident of Las Vegas, experienced a severe hypoglycemic episode leading to unconsciousness. His blood sugar dropped precipitously, causing him to fall and trigger the fall detection capability of his Apple Watch Ultra. This incident highlights the potential life-saving technology available in consumer devices and coincides with the approach of World Diabetes Day on November 14.
Fall Detection: A Critical Feature
- The Apple Watch Ultra detected Furman’s hard fall and immediately dialed emergency services.
- Furman’s mother received a message about the fall, enabling her to provide vital information about her son’s medical condition to responders.
- The incident brought to light the need for increased awareness about the fall detection feature among users, particularly those who are elderly or living with health conditions that could lead to falls.
Understanding Fall Detection
Fall Detection is a feature designed to help users in distress by contacting emergency services if a hard fall is detected followed by a minute of immobility. While this feature is automatically enabled for workouts and users above the age of 55, it remains optional for others and must be manually turned on through the Apple Watch app.
Steps to Enable Fall Detection
To activate or check the status of Fall Detection on an Apple Watch SE, Series 4, or later models:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- Tap “Emergency SOS.”
- Toggle the Fall Detection option and select “Always on” if you want it active outside of workouts.
Other Life-Saving Features
Apple Watch’s health features extend beyond fall detection, offering heart health alerts such as AFib notifications. These alerts not only save lives directly but also assist in diagnosing other health conditions, such as diabetes, by alerting users to irregular heart rhythms that may warrant medical attention.
Personal Stories of Survival
Furman’s case is not an isolated one, as many Apple Watch users have shared their stories of how the device’s health monitoring features have assisted them in emergencies. For Furman, it was the combination of blood glucose monitoring and fall detection that proved indispensable during his emergency.
Continuous Health Innovation
While the Apple Watch currently does not directly track blood sugar levels, the integration with third-party devices like the Dexcom G6 provides critical alerts for changes in blood glucose, which can prevent dangerous situations for diabetics. This cross-functionality between devices exemplifies the growing trend of technological innovation in personal healthcare.
Reflecting on the incident, Furman expressed his gratitude for the device’s features, stating, “If it wasn’t for the features that I use, the blood glucose sensor and all that stuff, I wouldn’t have gotten the watch, and now with the fall detection that honestly saved my life.”
Educating the Public on Wearable Health Technology
There is an evident gap in the public’s understanding of what their wearable devices are capable of, especially in emergencies. Furman’s incident serves as a critical reminder for users to familiarize themselves with their device’s features, potentially saving their own or a loved one’s life.
As we approach World Diabetes Day, stories like Josh Furman’s reinforce the importance of wearable health technology and the positive impact it can have on individuals with chronic health conditions. It also serves as a call to action for increased public education on the life-saving potentials of such technologies.
To learn more about how the Apple Watch can contribute to health and safety, visit this link Apple Watch.