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Quick thinking and an Apple Watch helped save a woman from sexual assault

A woman in Calgary, Alberta used an Apple Watch to call for help after a man broke into her apartment and attempted to sexually assault her, authorities said.

After the man allegedly broke into a woman’s home this past April, she was able to use her Apple Watch to text her boyfriend, asking him to call the police. The woman was laying on her couch at the time, and her iPhone was out of reach — which meant her Apple Watch was the only way to send out a quick text, authorities said.

Police arrived at her home in time to arrest the man, identified as John Joseph Macindoe, according to the Calgary Sun. Macindoe pleaded guilty to several charges related to the incident on Tuesday, including break and enter with the intent to commit sexual assault. 

Apple Watch
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“[She] remembered that she was wearing an Apple Watch on the arm draped over her head. She used the watch to text message her boyfriend,” Crown prosecutor Rose Greenwood said during a court hearing on Tuesday, according to the Calgary Herald. “Paralyzed with terror, [she] pleaded with her boyfriend, over text message, to call the police.”

The man used a copied key to enter the woman’s apartment as she was sleeping on the couch, prosecutors said, and she later told police that she thought she was going to die.

We’ve reached out the Calgary police and prosecutors for more information in the case and will update this story if we hear back.

The Apple Watch has continually proven itself to be helpful in saving people from precarious situations, including medical issues. Apple has warned users that the watch isn’t a medical device, but since the company incorporated improved heart-monitoring features, it’s helped notify people of heart problems, allowing them them identify issues or even get to the hospital in the early stages of a heart attack. 

In December 2018, A 46-year-old man in Virginia used his Apple Watch to conduct an electrocardiogram test which alerted him that he was experiencing atrial fibrillation. He went to urgent care to treat it before it became serious, which might have saved his life.

In addition, over 400,000 people participated in a heart study that monitored irregular heart rates, which prompted Apple to announce a new Apple Research app during the September Apple Event. The company hopes that anyone with an Apple Watch will be able to share their data with scientists, enabling them to improve their research. The first three studies conducted on the Apple Research app will analyze hearing, women’s health, and heart and movement.

The heart and movement study will take attempt to better detect early warning signs for heart disease and help create future innovations for overall health.

While the Apple Watch is good at giving users a general idea of health conditions they might have and can help them track their health. if your device has alerted you to a condition, you should see a medical professional immediately.

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Allison Matyus
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Allison Matyus is a general news reporter at Digital Trends. She covers any and all tech news, including issues around social…
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