Apple Watch ‘fall detection’ saves an elderly woman

According to Apple Insider, an elderly woman in the US believes the Apple Watch’s fall detection feature saved her life by automatically dialing 911 — which eventually led to the discovery that she had lung cancer.  

The Apple Watch is often credited with saving lives because of its integration with health systems such as heart rate sensors and fall detection.  Raylene Hackenwerth of St. Petersburg, Florida, fell so hard she almost lost consciousness, but the Apple Watch called 911 for her.  

One of the paramedics said the distress call from the smartwatch was unique, WFTS reported.  The Apple Watch sends its location when it dials 911, giving paramedics a place to go.  

After Raylene Hackenwerth was taken to hospital, paramedics found a lump in her lung, which was cancer, and she is now awaiting treatment.  

Raylene Hackenwerth told WFTS: “IF it wasn’t for the fall and the Apple Watch calling them, I wouldn’t even know it was there, and maybe by the time I found it, it would be too late.”  

The Apple Watch was a gift from her son for Christmas so she could track her workouts.  They weren’t aware of the fall detection feature, though it is enabled by default if users are 55 or older.  

Fall detection has been credited with saving lives many times, sometimes more than once.  Other times, heart-rate sensors warn wearers of potential health problems due to a heart rate that is too high or too low, leading to recommendations for life-saving medical interventions.  

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