The role of the Apple Watch in saving lives is well documented, and accounts go back to even the early versions of the Apple Watch in 2015. Since then, Apple has been steadily adding more life-saving features to its flagship wearable device, including new sensors that provide ECG and irregular heart rhythm monitoring, as well as fall detection.
As a result, we’ve been hearing even more reports of users being saved from deadly heart conditions and other heart-related health complications, even from otherwise-healthy Apple Watch users, and then of course there are the times that fall detection has notified emergency services automatically when users were otherwise incapacitated.
However, it also goes beyond just the health monitoring features, as the Apple Watch makes a great emergency communications device that you’re pretty much guaranteed to have with you, even if you lose your iPhone, or the battery is dead, or you simply haven’t brought it with you.
We recently saw yet another example of how useful this aspect of the Apple Watch can be when it saved a Chicago man from drowning.
As reported by Chicago’s WBBM Newsradio station, Philip Esho of Lincoln Square was out jet skiing in Lake Michigan when he
Fortunately, he was wearing his Apple Watch, and was able to use the Emergency SOS feature to reach 911. Although he had difficulty communicating with the dispatcher, emergency services was able to dispatch a helicopter and Chicago police and fire boats to rescue him.
Esho credits the Apple Watch with quite literally saving his life in this emergency situation, noting that due to the high waves continually pushing him under the surface, he really didn’t know what would have happened if he wasn’t wearing an Apple Watch at the time, as he would have had no other means of communication.
A Cellular Apple Watch Is a Lifeline
We’ve noted before that it’s a very good idea to buy a cellular-capable Apple Watch even if you don’t want to pay to hook it up with its own plan. Emergency communications laws in many countries, including the U.S., require that all mobile phones be capable of reaching emergency services like 911 — even if they’re not activated on a cellular plan, and Apple clearly feels that the Apple Watch falls under the same purview of mobile phones, and has ensured that it’s also capable of making 911 emergency calls whenever there’s an available signal.
So even an Apple Watch that has never been hooked up with cellular data can make sure that you’re able to reach emergency services if you ever find yourself in a situation like Esho’s, and in the case of a Series 4 Apple Watch, this will also ensure that automatic fall detection can also reach 911 in the event that you’ve been rendered unconscious after a fall, since the Emergency SOS feature basically just places a call to 911 in the same way as you would manually.