Communications & Dispatch, Patient Care, Trauma

Apple Watch Calls 911 for Bike Rider Left Unconscious in Crash

Special note from A.J. Heightman, JEMS Editor Emeritus

This is an important technology story for EMS responders, managers and dispatchers because,  although this case was a trauma case, the same alerts by an Apple Watch can be triggered in a cardiac arrest and has implications for responses in the future.

Dispatch Centers and EMS responders should be made aware of this case and Apple Watch feature so they are alerted to the fact that these responses should not be taken lightly or as false alarms because they could be alerting 911 about a cardiac arrest that could be resuscitated – or other serious injury.

SPOKANE, Wa. – Is there anything technology cannot do these days? The Apple Watch is reportedly being credited with saving a man’s life after a bad crash on his mountain bike left him unconscious.

The Spokesman-Review reports on the Sept. 15 crash involving Bob Burdett that made him bloodied, put his shoulder and some ribs out of place and a bad case of road rash.

Image courtesy of Apple
An Apple Watch alerted 911 after a man was left unconscious following a bad crash on his mountain bike.

Fortunately, Burdett had the fall detection feature turned on. An alert went out 60 seconds after the watch detected no movement after his fall.

The newspaper reports the ambulance was there three minutes after that.

First responders in Spokane tell the newspaper they believe this is the first time an Apple Watch alerted them of a bad accident.

Further reading

The iBeat Is a ‘Smart’ Watch, But It Can’t ‘Save Your Life’

Improving EMS Patient Care with Communication Technologies

Smartphone Use in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest