Apple Watch saves doctor who 'could have died' after a fall at his home

Apple Watch Series 7
(Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

A doctor who fell into a window well discovered that his Apple Watch called emergency services for him, without him even realizing.

Dr. Thomas Ficho says that he fell into the window well after standing on its cover while trying to power wash the bricks on his house — only for the cover to move. He took a 5ft tumble, hurting himself in the process. That was all it took for his Apple Watch to place a call to emergency services.

Better safe than sorry

Ficho says that after falling into the window well he was actually able to get himself back out, despite the fact that his "right side hurt a lot." What he wasn't expecting was to find a police officer standing on his lawn, waiting for him.

Local news reports that Ficho was only in the window well for a maximum of five minutes, but that was all it took. When the doctor asked the police officer why he was there, he pointed to his watch.

"I was really surprised," Ficho told NVC Chicago. "I didn’t put it together immediately that my watch was going to do that."

Ficho then went on to recall the story of a patient who fell when getting out of the shower, breaking her hip. Her body was found three days later. "All she needed was a watch," Ficho added after saying that he himself could have died at the bottom of his window well, too.

The Apple Watch placed the call to emergency services thanks to a feature called Fall Detection, and it's been shown to save lives on countless occasions. Fall Detection is available on Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 4 and later wearables, including the brand new Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, the best Apple Watch to date.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.