Apple advertises its watch as a device with life-saving features.
It would certainly be an innovative feature if the watch were able to call for help in scenarios of serious medical emergencies!
So, the question today is:
Does the Apple Watch call 911 if your heart stops?
This is unfortunately not a feature of Apple watches currently.
The Apple Watch has a feature that can call 911 (in countries that have this as the emergency number) in cases where its owner has taken a hard fall.
However, this feature is not applicable in situations when the heartbeat has stopped entirely!
“Why not?” Would be a legitimate next question.
When Does The Apple Watch Call 911?
In the Apple Watch Series SE, Series 4, and above, a new feature has been added which detects a hard fall and helps the wearer call 911.
How Does This Feature Work?
When a person wearing an Apple watch takes a hard fall, the watch detects it immediately and recognizes the incident as an emergency situation.
When the fall happens, the watch creates a tapping sensation on the user’s wrist, raises an alarm sound, and displays an alert.
The alert message states, “It looks like you have taken a hard fall,” and provides two options for the user to choose from;
- Call Emergency SOS
- I’m OK
Wearers can choose to cancel the alert by pressing the crown button, opting to close, or simply selecting I’m OK. This will ensure no call is made to the SOS number.
A call to the SOS number is not made directly if the person wearing it is active or moving. In that case, the watch expects a response before taking action.
However, if there is no movement detected, the watch delays the call by a minute.
If the person is immobile past a minute, the watch then taps the wearer for 30 seconds along with sounding an alarm.
The sound of the alarm gets gradually louder to alert the person or others that may be around.
If there is no response, a call is then made to emergency services. An automated message is played once a call is placed, and the current location of the watch user is shared with the emergency contact.
For all of this to work, wrist detection needs to be turned on in the Settings app of the watch.
For people above the age of 55, this feature is turned on as a default setting.
Wearers between the age group of 18 to 55- or those who have updated to newer versions- have to manually turn on the feature.
You can turn on this feature from the Watch app on your iPhone. One can also choose to keep it on only during heavy workouts instead of the feature remaining on at all times.
The Health app and associated health data is also synced with the Apple Watch app.
Users can customize their details by adding their medical records (such as Medical ID) and emergency contacts in the Health app. All fall records are also tracked in this app.
Will The Apple Watch Alert If Your Heart Stops?
Just like the Fall Detection feature, the Heart Rate Monitor on your Apple Watch tracks your heartbeats and sends notifications to you in situations where any irregularities are detected.
However, this only applies to heart irregularities, and not to situations when the heartbeat stops completely!
How To Turn On The Notifications
It is possible to enable Heart Rate app notifications within the Watch settings. The Heart button in the Watch tab of the iPhone can also be used to set the Beats per Minute (BPM) range.
Low and high heart rates can be set by choosing respective BPM values.
Apple Watches intermittently checks the heartbeat to detect irregular rhythm which may suggest atrial fibrillation.
This is usually done when you’re idle to ensure an accurate reading. Depending upon the activity of the user, frequency and interval between readings vary.
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) means an irregular heartbeat, which can in turn lead to blood clots in the heart.
Similarly to the heart rate feature, irregular heartbeats can also be enabled using the Heart app. It is not intended for people with AFib, or for those below 22 years of age.
You can confirm AFib by taking note of multiple readings of heart rhythm and then getting checked by a doctor.
This feature can definitely be useful; however, certain points have to be kept in mind. The Apple Watch cannot detect:
- Heart attacks
- All instances of AFib
If you have any symptoms of pounding or rapid heartbeats or dizziness, do not wait for a notification! Rather, seek immediate medical assistance.
These are some of the interesting and useful features of the Apple Watch. Apart from providing the regular features of a modern-day smartwatch, Apple has tried to include some life-saving aspects!
There have been many real-life instances where the Apple Watch has saved the lives of people by simply sending a notification or making an emergency call.
So while it can’t call 911 if your heart stops (…yet), technology has time and again proven to be able to improve and enhance human life!