From time to time, reports come back to us of people having their lives saved thanks to the Apple Watch, and recently this happened to Dan Pfau after he passed out and hit his head on the ground.
The story comes from the Boston Globe, who spoke with Pfau after the accident. At 70, this isn’t the first time the retired management consultant has been saved thanks to his Apple Watch.
Two years ago, Pfau was rescued from a bicycle accident after his Apple Watch called 911. He mentions that he instantly woke up in an ambulance without remembering how he got there. “Pfau doesn’t even remember calling 911 because he didn’t. The watch does,” says the report in reference to the drop detection feature introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018.
This time, however, the incident Pfau faced was “even more frightening”. Due to his history of sudden blackouts, he ended up hitting his head on the wooden floor and starting to bleed profusely. As he was in pain and unable to move, he quickly used the Apple Watch’s dictation feature to call his wife, who was fortunately at home at the time.
His Apple Watch did not dial 911 this time because Pfau, still conscious, tapped an icon on the watch screen to indicate he was okay. “I assumed it wasn’t so serious, which is my natural reaction,” he said. But when he realized he wasn’t okay, Pfau launched the watch’s texting app, tapped the microphone icon, and dictated a message to his wife, who was on the ground floor of the house.
Although the situation was quite serious, Pfau was once again rushed to a hospital because he was wearing an Apple Watch.
It took nine stitches to close the cut on Pfau’s forehead, but the pain in his neck kept him in the ICU for four days – it was a fractured vertebra. “The doctors said I was very lucky not to have paralysis,” he said. Pfau ended up at Mass.
The Boston Globe also spoke with Brad Weiner, one of the doctors who saw Pfau at the hospital. The doctor confirmed that this is not the first time one of his patients has been saved thanks to a smart watch, citing another recent case where the Apple Watch correctly notified a patient of atrial fibrillation detected by the ECG app.
Earlier this month, another man reported that he was also able to call for help after a car accident using Siri on the Apple Watch. Stories like this have become increasingly common since the launch of Apple’s Smart Watch in 2015.