Use fall detection with Apple Watch

If Apple Watch Series 4 or later detects a hard fall, it can help connect you to emergency services if needed.

Here's how it works

If Apple Watch Series 4 or later detects a hard fall while you're wearing your watch, it taps you on the wrist, sounds an alarm and displays an alert. You can choose to contact the emergency services or dismiss the alert by pressing the Digital Crown, tapping Close in the top left-hand corner or tapping “I'm OK”. 

Message that “It looks like you've taken a hard fall”.

If your Apple Watch detects that you're moving, it waits for you to respond to the alert and won't automatically call the emergency services. If your watch detects that you have been immobile for about a minute, it will make the call automatically.

After the call ends, your watch sends a message to your emergency contacts with your location letting them know that your watch detected a hard fall and dialled the emergency services. Your watch gets your emergency contacts from your Medical ID.

Some countries and regions have multiple emergency service numbers. For these countries, Apple Watch will call the number associated with ambulance services.

How to make a call

To call emergency services, drag the Emergency SOS slider in the alert. 

How to end a call

If you call the emergency services, you can end the call when your call is finished or if you no longer need emergency care:

  1. Tap the end call button .
  2. On the End Call screen, tap Yes. 

What happens if your Apple Watch detects that you're immobile?

If your Apple Watch detects that you're immobile for about a minute, it begins a 30-second countdown, while tapping you on the wrist and sounding an alert. The alert gets louder, so that you or someone nearby can hear it. If you don't want to call the emergency services, tap Cancel. When the countdown ends, your Apple Watch automatically contacts the emergency services. 

When the call connects, your Apple Watch plays an audio message that informs the emergency services that your Apple Watch detected a hard fall and then it shares your current location as latitude and longitude coordinates. If you previously turned on the Share During Emergency Call setting under your Medical ID, your Medical ID is also automatically shared with emergency services. The first time the message plays, the audio is at full volume, but then the volume is reduced so that you, or someone nearby, can talk to the responder. The message continues to play until you tap Stop Recorded Message or the call ends. 

Wrist Detection must be turned on for your watch to automatically call the emergency services: open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tap Passcode, then make sure that Wrist Detection is turned on.

When are falls recorded?

Falls are automatically recorded in the Health app, unless you reply that you didn't fall when your Apple Watch asks. To check your fall history, open the Health app on your iPhone, tap the Health Data tab, then tap Results.

Turn fall detection on or off

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then tap the My Watch tab. 
  2. Tap Emergency SOS.
  3. Turn Fall Detection on or off. 

If you entered your age when you set up your Apple Watch or in the Health app, and you’re aged 55 and over, this feature turns on automatically. Make sure your correct age appears in your Medical ID and your Health Profile. Fall Detection is only available for those aged 18 or over.

Apple Watch cannot detect all falls. The more physically active you are, the more likely you are to trigger fall detection due to high-impact activity that can appear to be a fall. 

Set up your Medical ID and add emergency contacts

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone, then tap Health > Medical ID.
  2. Tap Edit. 
  3. Enter your date of birth and other health information.
  4. To add an emergency contact, tap the add button  under emergency contacts. Tap a contact, then add their relationship.
  5. To remove an emergency contact, tap the remove button  next to the contact, then tap Delete.
  6. To make your Medical ID available from the Lock screen, turn on Show When Locked. In an emergency, this gives information to people who want to help. To share your Medical ID with emergency responders, turn on Share During Emergency Call. When you make a call or send a text to emergency services on your iPhone or Apple Watch, your Medical ID will automatically be shared with emergency services.*
  7. Tap Done.

You can't set the emergency services as an emergency contact.

*Available only in the United States. Text-to-911 may not be available in all areas. When you call or text emergency services, your location and encrypted Medical ID information are sent to Apple. Your location is used to determine whether Enhanced Emergency Data service is supported in your area. If supported, Apple forwards your information to a partner for delivery to emergency services. Apple cannot read your Medical ID information. If you turn off “Emergency Calls & SOS” under Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services, this check cannot be performed and Medical ID information will not be shared.

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