Apple Watch fall detector alerts emergency services after Norwegian man falls in bathroom

Police were alerted by the 67-year-old's Apple Watch that he had fallen. They found him bleeding on his bathroom floor.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La

The Apple Watch has fall detection.

Angela Lang/CNET

After taking a serious tumble in the middle of the night, a 67-year-old Norwegian man and his family credit his Apple Watch for getting help.

As reported by Norway's NRK, around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, Toralv Østvang got up to use the bathroom. He fainted and fell, an action that his Apple Watch detected. If the user is unresponsive for 1 minute, the wearable will alert emergency services. A half an hour later, the police found Østvang bleeding on the bathroom floor with three fractures to his face.

His daughter Kirsti Østvang credits the Apple Watch for saving his life, telling NRK: "It could have gone so much worse. All morning we asked 'What had happened if he hadn't worn a smart watch?' He didn't bring his mobile phone in the bathroom. It's amazing that he got so quick help from the alarm, until the police found him. It was a serious fall..."

In addition to fall detection, Apple's latest smartwatch, the Watch Series 4, has an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), which monitors your heart rate and can check for heart arrhythmia. The device only works with iPhones, however, and is expensive compared to other wearables on the market, starting at $399 (£399, AU$599).

Apple didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

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