One important lifesaving feature of Apple Watch is its Fall Detection capability. If your smartwatch detects you’ve taken a hard fall, it can help connect you to emergency services if needed. For most of us, this feature is turned off by default. Here’s how to set up Apple Watch Fall Detection.
How the Fall Detection Works on Apple Watch
The Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4, and later use motion detection algorithms as well as your watch’s gyroscope sensors to determine if you’ve fallen. When triggered, Apple Watch Fall Detection produces a haptic alert, sounds an alarm, and displays an alert.
You can dismiss the alert by pressing the Digital Crown or tapping I’m OK at the bottom of your Apple Watch display. You can also tap Close in the top-left corner of the display. As long as you’re moving, Apple Watch won’t take any other action.
You can also drag the Emergency SOS slider from left to right, and your Apple Watch will contact emergency services. If you’re immobile for about a minute, your watch not detecting any movement, Apple Watch will make this call automatically.
If you entered your age when you set up your Apple Watch, or in the Health app, and you’re age 55 or older, Fall Detection is automatically turned on. You can verify this, or turn it on or off manually, from the Watch app on your iPhone.
Set Up Apple Watch Fall Detection
After you open Watch on your paired iPhone, tap My Watch > Emergency SOS. If Fall Detection is already enabled, the toggle will show green. You can slide it off to disable, or slide it on to turn Fall Detection on.
You can also specify when the feature is active. For those who maintain a high level of physical activity, having the detection on all the time could result in a number of false positives. To reduce this but still keep you safe, you can check Only on during workouts instead of Always on.
If you have emergency contacts listed in Health, Apple Watch will contact those people after calling emergency services. This is a good time to make sure those contacts are up-to-date.
From the Settings app on your iPhone, tap Health > Medical ID. You can provide important medical information here, such as medical conditions, allergies and reactions, medicine you’re taking, and your blood type. This is also where you set up your emergency contacts.
To add a new contact, just tap the green plus sign under emergency contacts. Tap the person you want to add, along with their relationship to you. If you need to remove a contact, do that by tapping the red minus symbol next to the contact, then Delete.
Finally, it may be wise to make your Medical ID available from the Lock Screen. Just turn on Show When Locked, and first responders can view this important information. You can also enable Share During Emergency Call. This only works in the U.S., and not in all areas, but it uses Text-to-911 to transmit your Medical ID with your 911 dispatchers.