How to use fall detection on Apple watch

How to use fall detection on Apple watch
How to use fall detection on Apple watch. Photo: Pixabay

The Apple brand has always been known to launch innovative products and the Apple watch series 4 is no exception. The wristwatch has a variety of inbuilt features that benefit its user with the most popular one being the fall detection feature. The unique feature uses an accelerometer as well as a gyroscope to detect if the wearer has fallen and is unable to get back on their feet. Also, the feature is disabled for anyone under the age of sixty-five as its target is older people.

So, What Is Fall Detection and How Does It Work?

Older adults are often vulnerable to falls that result in no injuries while others can leave them unconscious and unable to call for help. In such situations, alert devices such as the Apple watch can help save their lives by notifying the nearest medical service teams.

A fall detection device is ideal for men and women that are past their sixties and are susceptible to falls indoors or outside. The devices are available in different forms with the most common being pendants or wristwatches. The watches are the most popular and are quickly triggered in case the wearer has suffered a fall. Most times, the notification from the Apple watch is sent to a family member or an agent of a medical facility so that they can send help.

The technology behind fall detection devices such as the Apple watch is quite simple. The device is designed to continually track movements of the person wearing it using an in-built accelerometer. In case of a sudden change in motion due to a fall, the device will pick it up and notify the designated person through an alert call. If the alert is a false alarm, the medical representative will contact the wearer and ascertain that they are not in any danger.

Tips on setting up and using Apple watch fall detection

For you to enjoy the full benefits that come with the Apple watch detection feature, there are some things that you need to keep in mind.

  • Requirements for setting up fall detection feature

There are some conditions that must be fulfilled beforehand for the feature to be of good use to a senior. Some of the significant requirements include an Apple Watch series 4, watchOS 5 and the wrist detection should be activated. Even so, newer models of the watch also have the feature and can be used by seniors.

  • Set up of fall detection feature

Enabling the fall detection feature on the Apple watch is an important step. Fortunately, the enabling process is simple and is often done manually. Some of the steps that must be followed for the activation to be successful are launching of the Watch application once it has been paired with your iPhone; selecting the tab titled “My Watch”; tapping on emergency SOS and finally sliding the Fall Detection switch to the ON position.

After the feature has been set up, it is essential to edit the information in the Medical ID as well as emergency contacts section. To do this, you need to find the health app on the iPhone and tap on the tab written Medical ID which will require you to create a new account or edit an existing one. You will need to provide details such as your birthday and other relevant medical information. Also, add an emergency contact and can even add your relationship to them. When done save the changes made to your Medical ID and activate the wrist detection feature so that it can automatically call in case of a fall.

  • Using an Apple watch detection feature

The Apple watch detects that the wearer has fallen or they have not moved for at least sixty seconds; it will tap your wrist, sound an alarm and then display a fall alert. The alert offers three options, which are emergency SOS, “I fell, but I’m OK” and “I did not fall.” Tapping on the first option will alert your emergency contacts, and the last two will quickly dismiss the alert as a false alarm. In case, the emergency services have already been contacted, but you can get back on your feet, cancel them by tapping on the button on the watch written “End Call.”

How to choose a fall detection device

Investing in an Apple Watch for a senior may seem like the right thing to do, but it is essential to consider some other features as well. Some of the things to keep in mind when buying a fall detection device include:

  • It should be user-friendly

Older adults often prefer using devices that are easy to operate, and the fall detection device is no exception. Avoid devices that are complicated and require a lot of technical knowledge to be activated. Fortunately, the Apple watch is easy to set up and use regardless of one’s age.

  • It should be the right size

Comfort is crucial when choosing a fall detection device because it will be worn often and most likely throughout the day. Avoid bulky devices that will be uncomfortable to wear for an extended period. The Apple watch is lightweight and available in two main sizes, which are 38mm and 42mm making it an ideal device for seniors.

  • It should be waterproof

It is important to confirm whether a fall detection advice can still operate when it comes in contact with water. Many seniors are prone to falling when in the shower which makes it crucial to have a device that is waterproof. However, the Apple watch is water resistant and not waterproof meaning it can work when washing hands or even when it is raining. Submerging the watch in water will alter its operations and is not recommended.

  • Presence of an automatic and manual trigger

Fall detection devices are designed to make it easier for seniors to call for help when in danger. In most cases, the trigger to medical representatives is sent automatically as soon as movements are deemed to be irregular. However, if there is a malfunction, the device should be able to be activated manually for the benefit of the older adult. Fortunately, the fall detection feature on the Apple watch can be enabled manually making it a device worth buying.