Apple Watch saves Doctor’s Life who fell Five Feet into Basement Egress Well

A doctor’s life has been saved all thanks to the Apple Watch, when the device called for help after detecting its wearer had suffered a bad fall.

Crediting the Apple Watch Series 5 with saving his life, Dr. Thomas Ficho also explains why he recommends to all of his patients to wear a watch like this one.

Retelling his story to NBC Chicago, Ficho was power washing the bricks on the north side of his home. To reach higher, he then tried to step on the cover of the window well. The cover unfortunately moved and he fell five feet into the basement egress well.

He said, “I was laying on the bottom of this, kind of curled up. My right side hurt a lot.”

After about five minutes, Ficho was able to climb out of the well by himself. He then saw a Glenview police officer standing on his lawn. The officer asked him if he was okay or if he needed a paramedic. Ficho replied “no”, and curiously asked the officer how he knew that the internist needed help. The officer then pointed to Ficho’s Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch uses built-in gyroscopes to measure motion. If it detects a fall, it will ask the wearer if they are okay and if they should call 911. If no response has been made within a few minutes, the device will place the call on its own, either by a built-in cell phone or via the iPhone with which the watch is linked. It will also send the watch’s GPS location.

“I was really surprised. I didn’t put it together immediately that my watch was going to do that,” Ficho said.

The doctor, who works in a PC-based office, called the watch “an amazing tool.”

He recalled a female patient who stepped out of the shower, slipped and fell, broke her hip and was unable to get up. Her body was found three days later. Ficho wished that the technology had existed at the time, saying, “All she needed was a watch.”

Dr. Ficho said he has already been using Apple Watches to monitor his patients’ heart rhythms, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the oxygen in their blood. As most of his patients are well over 60 years old, he has told every one of them that they need to have a watch like his.

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