Use fall detection with Apple Watch Series 4

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

Here's how it works

If Apple Watch Series 4 detects a significant, 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 emergency services or dismiss the alert by tapping "I fell, but I'm OK" or by scrolling down and tapping "I did not fall." 

Apple Watch with a message that "It looks like you've taken a hard fall" and the Emergency SOS slider.

If your Apple Watch detects that you're moving, it waits for you to respond to the alert and won't automatically call emergency services. If your Apple Watch detects that you're immobile for about a minute, it begins a 15-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. When the countdown ends, your Apple Watch automatically contacts emergency services. Then it sends a message to your emergency contacts with your location letting them know that Apple Watch detected a hard fall and dialed emergency services.

Your Apple Watch gets your emergency contacts from your Medical ID. Wrist Detection must be turned on for your watch to automatically call emergency services: Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tap General, then make sure that Wrist Detection is turned on. Falls are also 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.

Call emergency services

To call emergency services, drag the Emergency SOS slider in the alert. Apple Watch will make the call automatically if it detects that you have been immobile for about a minute. If Apple Watch detects that you’re moving, it will not automatically call. 

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

End a call

If you get a notification asking if you fell, dismiss the alert by tapping "I fell, but I'm OK" or "I did not fall." If the countdown has started, tap Cancel. 

If you call 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. 

Emergency SOS options on your iPhone.

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've entered your age when you set up your Apple Watch or in the Health app and you're age 65 and over, this feature automatically turns on.

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. 

Derek Parker's Medical ID in the Health app.

Set up your Medical ID and add emergency contacts

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone, then tap the Medical ID tab. 
  2. Tap Edit. 
  3. Enter your date of birth and other health information.
  4. To add an emergency contact, tap the green plus icon under emergency contacts. Tap a contact, then add their relationship. 
  5. To remove an emergency contact, tap the Remove icon 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.
  7. Tap Done.

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

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