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Apple Watch's Emergency SOS credited with saving epileptic Australian woman

An Australian woman with epilepsy is reportedly alive because of the fall detection and Emergency SOS features on the Apple Watch Series 4.




Sydney resident Kate Donald was home alone when the seizure happened two months ago, according to News.com.au. A fall triggered Emergency SOS, which fired off text messages to her husband Ben. Ben in turn called a neighbor, who turned out to be away from home but was able to reach two other people who were both close by and knew the PIN code to get into the house — a necessity because of Donald's condition.

Those people called an ambulance, only to learn than one was already on its way. While Kate was being taken to the hospital, Ben was able to get GPS updates on his wife's location. He had been trying to call Kate without luck.

The woman ultimately spent four days in the hospital because of the fall.

Emergency SOS is available for every current Watch, but only the Series 4 offers fall detection. When activated, the feature offers the option to use SOS if a person is still moving, but will launch it automatically if a person has stayed still for a full minute. At that point it will call local emergency services and notify listed contacts.

Fall detection is normally off, but can be switched on in the iOS Watch app and is enabled by default for people who have their age listed as 65 or older.

Lifesaving Watch stories have become regular items in the media, thanks to factors like the ease of covering them and Apple's own push to market the device's health functions.