Apple Watch fall detection saves life of ‘bloody and unconscious’ man in Norway

A 67-year-old man, who was found “bloody and unconscious” by Norwegian emergency authorities, is the latest addition to the lives saved by the Apple Watch.

Toralv Østvang was found in such a harrowing state on his bathroom floor, NRK reported. After Østvang fell when he went to the bathroom, the Apple Watch’s fall detection feature automatically alerted emergency services.

When Apple Watch wearers fall, the device checks in to ask if they are fine. If the user does not respond within a minute, the fall detection feature automatically calls emergency services and shares the wearer’s location with them.

This is likely what happened that night for Østvang. His daughter believes her father fainted and fell to the bathroom floor in the middle of the night. Østvang suffered three fractures on his face, but his daughter thinks that things may have gone so much worse if not for the Apple Watch, which allowed him to quickly get help.

The fall detection feature is automatically enabled for wearers who are over 65 years old. Users who would like to activate the life-saving feature may go into the Watch app on their iPhone, select Emergency SOS, and toggle the fall detection slider.

Apple warned Apple Watch owners that they should not use it as a medical device, but it has been helping save lives through features such as fall detection and electrocardiogram (ECG) test, which was just released in December for the Apple Watch Series 4. ECG measurements take a look at the heart’s electrical pulses to gauge the person’s heart health, and users can get one by opening an app and holding their finger on the Digital Crown until the test is complete.

It did not take long for the Apple Watch’s ECG feature to make a difference. A Richmond resident, Ed Dentel, took the test shortly after the feature was rolled out, and was alerted that he may be experiencing atrial fibrillation, which is the most common form of irregular heartbeat. Dentel thought that it was a glitch as he was of sound health, but a visit to urgent care confirmed that he had the condition, with the Apple Watch credited for possibly saving his life.

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