Last week, Apple released a new update for their popular product, the Apple Watch 4. While the device has many intriguing features, the newest additions could benefit seniors in many ways. The Apple Watch can now detect when its user falls down. Apple says the Apple Watch 4 uses its multiple sensors to recognize telltale signs of falling and tripping in real time. Aside from basic falls that are indicated by quick downward movement, the device notices trips and slips by detecting forward diagonal movements and sudden halts. It also has the ability to sense specific arm motions, such as jerking forward regain balance. This could benefit seniors who are at risk of falling and severely hurting themselves. If the user does fall, the Watch will prompt him or her to call 911 if they are hurt. This is a potentially life-saving feature that could give seniors and their families peace of mind.
The Apple Watch now monitors heart rates at medical-grade accuracy through ECG monitoring. It can detect irregular heart rate, low heart rate, and provide details on heart rate rhythm. It will send the user notifications when the Apple Watch detects their heart rate rapidly rising when they appear to be inactive, which can be a sign of atrial fibrillation, which is a common killer. This feature could help seniors keep better track of their heart rate and monitor for any irregularity that could occur.
While many do not always picture high tech products and elderly people together, the new Apple Watch could actually improve the quality of life for seniors and provide comfort to worried friends and family members.