How the Apple Watch Saved My Life — and Could Rescue You – CNET

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Apple Watch notifications for diabetes management

I have type 1 diabetes and I wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that measures my blood sugar levels. If my blood sugar gets dangerously low, I can pass out or go into a diabetic coma. Luckily, my CGM connects to my watch and sends notifications before it’s too late. This feature saved my life a few months ago.

glucose alert showing high levels of glucose via apple watch
With an Apple Fitness Plus account, you can access a list of guided meditations on the Apple Watch from the pre-installed Meditations app. Meditations last anywhere from five to 20 minutes. An Apple Fitness Plus membership costs per month or per year.
Justin Eastzer/CNET

To activate Emergency SOS on the iPhone, hold down the power button and up volume button at the same time and swipe over or hold down the buttons longer and it will count down from 8 and begin to let out a siren. Alternatively, you can set up Emergency SOS to activate by pressing the power button five times quickly. These activation settings can be programmed in Settings > Emergency SOS.

Fall detection

It displays information such as a name, date of birth, health conditions, medications and emergency contacts.
Emergency SOS is a powerful feature that could rescue you from a scary situation. This feature allows you to quickly and easily call for emergency services if you are in danger.

Setting up Medical ID

Medical ID on Apple Watch. 
The Apple Watch can make calls, receive texts and navigate you from point A to point B, but it can also save your life. Thanks to Apple’s various health and safety features, the Apple Watch can be used to protect you or someone else in a few ways. I know because I’ve experienced it firsthand.

Medical ID on Apple Watch.
Medical ID can come in handy in situations where you are around strangers and incoherent and in need of help or the other way around.
Medical ID on Apple Watch.
Richard Peterson/CNET

Meditation has a plethora of health benefits, including the possibility to reduce the risk of being hospitalized for coronary disease by 87%.
Mental health is another important aspect of our health and the Apple Watch seeks to help free our minds with guided meditations included in their Apple Fitness Plus program. 

Activating Emergency SOS

In addition to blood sugar warnings, the Apple Watch can help keep people safe in other ways, too. Here are a few other life-saving features to take advantage of:

Emergency SOS activation screen on Apple Watch.
Anyone can access this information on the Apple Watch by holding down the button until it pops up on the watch face. Slide the tab over and you will have access to Medical ID information and can call the emergency contact right from that screen. Medical ID can also be opened on an iPhone by holding down on the power button and up volume button at the same time.
If the watch detects you’re moving, it waits for you to respond to the alert and won’t automatically call for help. If it detects you haven’t moved for about a minute, it will make the call automatically. It will also send a message to your emergency contacts with your location, letting them know your watch detected a hard fall and called for emergency services. Emergency contacts are retrieved from Medical ID, which is programmed on the iPhone.
Richard Peterson/CNET

Emergency SOS activation screen on Apple Watch.
High glucose alert via the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor app. 

Meditation with Apple Fitness Plus

Programming Medical ID is easy. On an iPhone go to Settings > Health > Medical ID. 
Emergency SOS activation screen on Apple Watch.

I woke up to a dangerously low blood sugar warning on my Apple Watch. I ran to the fridge, grabbed some orange juice, drank it and then passed out. I woke up a few minutes later because my sugar levels went back to normal. That was one of the scariest moments of my life, and thanks to my Apple Watch alerts, I was able to address the low blood sugar before it was too late.
Meditations are located in the Mindfulness app and require an Apple Fitness Plus account.
Richard Peterson/CNET

There are a couple ways to activate this on Apple Watch. You can activate it the same way as Medical ID by holding the button and swiping over on “Emergency SOS” or you can continue to hold the button longer and it will automatically activate. Once activated, the watch will count down from five and let out a loud siren sound effect. You can cancel the request by letting go of the button before the countdown ends. The Apple Watch can detect if you’ve endured a bad fall. The wearable combines two tools: an accelerometer, which detects velocity, and a gyroscope, which detects the Earth’s gravity. Together, the two can alert the watch of a bad fall and activate a warning on the watch face asking if you want to call emergency services.