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A 67-year-old man was saved after a serious fall because his Apple Watch alerted emergency responders, according to a new report out of Norway.
Toralv Østvang was found “bloody and unconscious” on his bathroom floor by emergency crews, according to Norwegian media outlet NRK. While not all of the details are clear, Østvang may have fainted and fallen while in the bathroom in the middle of the night.
According to Østvang’s daughter, the 67-year-old had not brought his smartphone with him to the bathroom. She added that he had not previously considered using any sort of fall detection or alert system.
That makes it all the more amazing that Østvang happened to be wearing his Apple Watch at the time of the incident.
While he suffered three skull fractures in the fall, Østvang’s thinks that it could have been much worse had first responders not been alerted to the sitation quickly enoguh.
“It could have gone so much worse,” the daughter told NRK (translated via Google Translate). “All morning we asked, ‘What had happened if he hadn’t worn a smart watch?”
The feature is enabled by default for users who are 65 years of age and older. For everyone else, fall detection can be enabled manually by going to the Watch app on their iPhone, tapping on Emergency SOS, and toggling fall detection on.
But, perhaps more importantly, the fall detection feature can automatically contact emergency services and share a user’s location with them if the user does not respond after a fall within a minute.
This is far from the first time that an Apple Watch has been credited with helping to save someone’s life. There have been a slew of reports of an Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor alerting users to cardiac issues and other dangerous conditions.
Since the debut of the ECG feature on the new Apple Watch models, several wearers have been alerted to previously undiscovered atrial fibrillation. And the Apple Watch’s SOS feature has helped several people after severe car accidents.
Back in October 2018, a man in Sweden also credited his Apple Watch’s fall detection mode with saving him after he suffered a severe fall in his kitchen.