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Apple Watch Ultra fall detection dials 911 after man with diabetes fell unconscious

Apple Watch Ultra

A Las Vegas man with type 1 diabetes fell unconscious from low blood sugar but was saved thanks to his Apple Watch Ultra dialing emergency services when Fall Detection kicked in.

World Diabetes Day is on November 14, and even though Apple Watch can't directly track blood sugar just yet, it can help save people in deadly situations. We've already covered a story where AFib notifications led to a diabetes diagnosis, but this event relied on another health feature.

According to a report from KSNV shared by 9to5Mac, a 40-year old Las Vegas resident named Josh Furman fell unconscious due to low blood sugar, but his Apple Watch Ultra dialed 911. His Dexcom G6 alerts him of low blood sugar due to his type 1 diabetes, but the levels were so low that he fell hard to the floor.

Fall Detection was triggered, and 911 was dialed. It also sent messages to his emergency contacts, allowing Furman's mother to relay his medical condition to emergency services.

"I don't know how long I was out for, but when I woke up, the Apple Watch had basically called 911, the paramedics," Furman said. "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."

Furman was lucky, as he had the Fall Detection feature set to always on, which is not the default for users under 55. Typically, Fall Detection is only on during workouts.

"I don't think people know enough about their Apple Watch to realize what it can actually do with the Fall Detection (feature)," he said. "People that are elderly probably don't know about the Fall Detection (feature). You actually have to turn it on on your iPhone."

Fall Detection is available on Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4 and later, or Apple Watch Ultra.

Those who want to turn on Fall Detection or check if it is enabled need only go to the Apple Watch app. Tap "Emergency SOS," then select the toggle for Fall Detection and tap "Always on" if desired.