Apple Watch Fall Detection: Everything You Must Know

“Fall Detection is a life-saving feature on advanced smartwatches like Apple Watches, Samsung Wearables, etc. It saves people’s life by automatically calling the emergency department in case of a hard fall.”

Apple always surprises with innovative technologies and features. The Apple wearable devices are also not an exception for this.

Must Read: Apple Watch for Kids 2021: How to Set it up for Your Child?

The Apple Watch Series 4 and above models come with many life-saving features such as ECG, irregular heart rate detection, atrial fibrillation, fall detection, and much more.

If you are looking for an ECG Smartwatch in 2021, you can check our latest article on the best ECG Smartwatches.

In this article, I have explained everything about the Apple Watch fall detection feature. I have also included a few incidents where Apple watch saved lives by automatically activating SOS. 

What is Apple Watch Fall Detection?

Apple Watch fall detection is a life-saving feature available only on Apple Watch Series 4 and above. If you have a hard fall and do not move for more than one minute, it automatically calls the local emergency department for help with your current location. 

After calling the emergency department, it shares your location with emergency contacts. This helps your loved ones find your location even if you are taken to a hospital. This feature is handy for the elderly and also for people who move a lot. 

How does Apple Watch fall detection work?

Apple Watch SOS

The Apple Watch Series 4 and above comes with advanced sensors called an accelerometer and gyroscope. In case of a bad fall, it gives you a buzz on the wrist along with an alarm and alert on display.

If you are okay, you can simply dismiss the notification by tapping on “I fell, but I’m OK” or “I did not fall,” so it does not call for help or activate SOS. Alternatively, you can contact the emergency department for assistance by sliding the red SOS icon on the watch. 

What if you are unable to respond after a fall?

What if something worse happens and you are unconscious or unable to move after a hard fall? I hope that this situation never occurs to any of us. 

If you are not moving after a fall, the watch will automatically call the local emergency number within 30 seconds, and it also shares your location with the emergency department. 

It also shares your live location with your pre-saved emergency contact numbers. Thus your loved ones can track your live location in case something terrible happened to you. 

Here is an in-depth article on how to save an emergency contact number on your Apple watch. 

How to set up hard fall detection on the Apple watch? 

The fall detection automatically turned on if your 55 years or above while setting up the Health App. If your age is below 55 years, then you have to turn on fall detection manually. 


Follow the steps below to turn on fall detection on Apple Watch.

  • Open Apple Health App
  • Tap on Emergency SOS
  • Toggle the button to turn on fall detection

The fall detection feature is only available for people above the age of 18. You also need to enable “Wrist Detection” on the settings to activate fall detection on Apple Watches. 

Here are the steps to enable Wrist Detection on the Apple wearables that supports fall detection. 

  • Open Apple Watch Settings
  • Enter your Passcode
  • Now toggle the button to turn on or off fall detection. 

I would recommend you accurately fill all the data on the “Medical ID” and “Health Profile.” Besides, make sure to enable share medical ID so that the emergency people can see your health data. It helps them to start the treatment without any delay. 

Does Apple Watch Fall Detection Require Cellular Connectivity?

So “how Apple watch calls an emergency number?” “Does Apple Watch need cellular connectivity to contact the emergency department?”

These are some of the common questions asked by Apple wearable users. 

Well, Yes. The Apple watch needs cellular connectivity to contact the emergency department. If you are using a wearable with LTE(activated), then it calls the emergency number by itself. 

Now let us check how Apple watch fall detection without cellular works. If your smartwatch does not have a cellular connection, then you must have your connected iPhone to call the emergency number for help. 

Which Apple watch has fall detection?

As I said earlier, all the Apple Watch Series 4 and above comes with fall detection and emergency SOS. All these smartwatches also have an LTE model that activates emergency SOS even when you are away from your smartphone. 

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest smartwatch from Apple. It comes with many health tracking features such as FDA Approved ECG monitoring, heart rate monitoring, SpO2(blood oxygen level monitoring), irregular heart rate, atrial fibrillation, and much more. 

The key difference between Apple Watch Series 6 with other models is the blood oxygen level monitoring. None of the other models does have this feature. 

Apple Watch SE

Apple Watch SE is another smartwatch from Apple that comes with fall detection. It resembles Apple Watch Series 6 in terms of features and design. However, it lacks features like ECG, always-on display, and SpO2. 

Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 is an advanced watch that comes with many health-tracking features of Apple Watch Series 6 except blood oxygen level. 

Appl Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 is the first smartwatch in which Apple introduced a fall detection feature. It also has many advanced health tracking features such as the FDA Approved ECG, heart rate monitoring, atrial fibrillation alerts, and much more. 

Who Needs a smartwatch with Fall detection?

Everyone can fall and get injured. However, seniors are more prone to falls, so you should go for a smartwatch with fall detection if you are a senior. 

If you go for an Apple Watch Series 4 or above, it can have a closer look into your heart rate to ECG. Even if it does not replace any medical equipment, it can still save your lives. 

Apple Watch Fall Detection Saves lives! Here are some real incidents where Apple Watch Saves people’s lives by activating Emergency SOS.

This live-saving Apple Watch incident saves the lives of 26 years old Kacie Anderson to 68 years old Toralv √ėstvang. They all say that their survival would be difficult without Apple Watch. 

  1. Does Apple Watch 3 have fall detection?

    No Apple Watch Series 3 does not have a fall detection feature. The fall detection features start with Series 4.

  2. How good is Apple watch fall detection?

    Apple watch fall detection is not accurate. If you are a more active person and involved in high-intensity activities, then it triggers a fall. In this case, you can ignore the notification by tapping on “I did not fall”.

  3. Which Apple Watch is best for seniors?

    If you are looking for an Apple wearable with advanced features, go for Apple Watch Series 6 or 5. Both devices come with advanced health-tracking features like ECG, heart rate, atrial fibrillation detection, and much more. If you need SpO2, then you must go for Series 6.

Final Words

Fall detection is one of the innovative features of Apple Watches and other advanced smartwatches. If you are an Android phone user, you can go for Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 or Active 2. Both these Samsung wearables come with FDA Approved ECG, blood oxygen level, blood pressure, and even much more.

I’m Saneesh VS. I’m a Registered Nurse by Profession, but my passion lies in Gadgets like smartwatches, fitness trackers and fitness. Nothing makes me happier than being able to share my knowledge to help people make informed decisions on what they need to buy or use in their everyday lives.

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