Little did 40-year-old Josh Furman know that when he would fall unconscious, his Apple watch would save his life.
In a world where healthcare innovations are fast-tracking, smart technology has become man's best friend. A multifaceted interface shrunk to the size of our wrist in the form of a smartwatch can help us send messages, make calls, set reminders, play music, and even monitor our heart rate. Apple watches aka wearable iPhones are one of the most sought-after devices, especially for their fitness-oriented usages like step counting and workout tracking. However, in recent years, Apple Watches have been known for saving lives by monitoring heart health and sending out emergency alerts. KSNV News3 Las Vegas has reported one such momentous incident where Las Vegas-based Josh Furman's life was saved by his Apple Watch when he fell unconscious at his home.
The 40-year-old Josh Furman is dealing with Type-1 diabetes which requires consistent monitoring and maintenance of blood sugar levels. Usually, Furman's insulin pump alerts him by setting off an alarm when his blood sugar gets low. But this one time when he was home alone earlier this year, he became unconscious due to low blood sugar and crashed on the floor. But thanks to his Apple Watch Ultra's fall detection feature identified his situation and alerted the emergency services. Speaking to KSNV about the incident, Furman said, "I don't know how long I was out for, but when I woke up, the Apple Watch had basically called 911, the paramedics," and added, "But I could not talk. I sounded like I had a mouth full of marbles. 911 could not understand me, but they had the GPS from the watch, so they knew where I was."
Apart from dialing 911, the Apple Watch helped Furman reach his mother whom he had set up as his emergency contact on the device. His mother then explained his diabetic condition to the 911 operator as Furman was barely conscious and incapable of describing what had happened. "I don't think people know enough about their Apple Watch to realize what it can actually do with the fall detection feature," said Furman crediting the device for saving his life. He then suggested, "People who are elderly probably don't know about the fall detection feature. You actually have to turn it ON on your iPhone."
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In 2018, with the launch of the Apple Watch 4 series, the fall detection feature was ushered in and since then has been incorporated in every version. For the feature to detect falls and alert the emergency services, the wearer has to turn the feature ON. This emergency activation happens when the device recognizes if the person is immobile for a minute after a hard fall. Parallelly, the device sends a message to emergency contacts along with your location just like in Furman's case through its Medical ID setting which can be accessed instantly during unfortunate situations.
Feeling fortunate about these features in his Apple Watch, Furman said, "If it wasn't for the features that I use, the blood glucose sensor and all that stuff, I wouldn't have gotten the watch, and now with the fall detection, that honestly saved my life." Also, this was not the first time Furman's Apple watch has contacted the emergency services for him. There were previous instances of false alarms. However, this time when he was totally incapable of helping himself his Apple watch's alert became a godsend. The Furmans insist people get educated about diabetes and understand how difficult it can be to manage. “It's a 24/7 disease and they're living with it constantly and you have to have empathy with that,” Josh’s dad Gil Furman told ABC-affiliate KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas.