How to easily set up fall detection on the Apple Watch

How to easily set up fall detection on the Apple Watch
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The Apple Watch is setting new benchmarks for wearables can do. With every iteration of the gadget, the company is adding new health features that have proven to be life-saving. One such feature is fall detection, and it has already been credited with saving a few lives. Here’s how to easily set up fall detection on the Apple Watch.

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What is the fall detection feature?

The fall detection feature is present in Series 4 and Series 5 Apple Watch models. It identifies if a wearer takes a hard fall and is unable to get up within 60 seconds. If the wearer is unable to get up, the feature automatically contacts emergency services to inform them of the their location and that they need immediate medical attention.

After the wearer is immobile for 60 seconds, a 15-second countdown will start on the watch, after which the call will be made to emergency services. The wearer can cancel the call anytime during the countdown. Before calling emergency services, the watch will also try to alert the user with a tap on the wrist and an alarm.

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In addition to informing emergency services, the watch will also send messages to the wearer’s emergency contacts informing them that it detected a fall. The watch will also inform them about your current location.

According to Apple Insider, the fall detection feature has recently been credited with saving a driver’s life. The driver was involved in a dangerous collision and was knocked unconscious, after which the Apple Watch informed emergency services, according to a tweet from Surrey Police.

Surrey Police now recommend that users to set up fall detection on their Apple Watch. The agency also advises users to set up their medical ID to ensure emergency personnel are able to identify and learn about users’ existing medical conditions.

For users under the age of 65, this feature is disabled by default. For those aged 65 or over, the feature is offered as part of the setup process. Now that you know all about the fall detection feature, let’s discuss how to set it up.

How to set up fall detection on the Apple Watch

To set up fall detection on the Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Watch app on the iPhone.
  2. Select the “My Watch” tab and tap “Emergency SOS.”
  3. Toggle “Fall Detection” to on.

To fully set up fall detection on the Apple Watch, you should also know how to add contacts to your emergency contact list. To add emergency contacts, follow these steps:

  1. Open the health app on the iPhone
  2. Tap on your profile in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap “Medical ID” and then tap “Edit” in the upper-right corner.
  4. Scroll down to the Emergency Contacts section and tap the option “Emergency contact.” Now your contacts list will appear.
  5. Select the contact you want to add as an emergency contact. Now you will have to select the phone number of that contact that you want to use.
  6. You will also be asked to identify your relationship with that contact.

That’s it. You will have to repeat the above steps each time to add a new emergency contact.

For fall detection to work properly, you should also turn on wrist detection on your Apple Watch. Turning on wrist detection will allow the watch to call emergency services automatically. To enable wrist detection, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on the Apple Watch and then tap “Passcode.”
  2. Scroll down to “Wrist Detection” and turn it on.

If for any reason, you decide you don’t want fall detection, you can turn it off easily as well. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Watch app on the iPhone.
  2. Tap the “My Watch” tab in the bottom-left of the screen.
  3. Tap “Emergency SOS.”
  4. Scroll down to fall detection and turn it off.

How to enable Emergency SOS

In addition to  fall detection, another useful feature the Apple Watch offers is Emergency SOS. The feature notifies your emergency contacts when you are in trouble and shares your location. To enable the feature,  go to the Watch app on your iPhone. Select the Emergency SOS screen and toggle “Hold Side Button” on.

You will have to add emergency contacts if you haven’t already done so. To add emergency contacts, follow the steps listed above for adding emergency contacts for fall detection.

Now if you feel the need, you can start an Emergency SOS call from your watch. To do so, hold down the side button until the Emergency SOS slider appears. You can either drag the slider or continue holding the side button. In both cases, emergency services will be called.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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