Another day, another life saved by the Apple Watch. This time it was a woman who had a life-threatening blood clot but didn't know it. What will it be tomorrow?
That's the question that I find myself asking today, and in truth, it's one that I've puzzled over a few times in recent months. Because the more that I write stories about the Apple Watch helping to alert people of health conditions, or calling for help when they fall, the more I wonder.
Should I get an Apple Watch for the whole family?
Can I afford not to?
Now to be clear, I'm not talking about strapping an Apple Watch Ultra to my kids' arms, and you don't need the very best Apple Watch on the market to benefit from potentially life-saving features like heart rate notifications and fall detection. An Apple Watch Series 1 or later should do the trick and I probably have one of those in a drawer somewhere.
In reality, it isn't so much the kids that I'm thinking about here. It's myself, a middle-aged man whose health is perhaps not as good as it could be. And it's my parents who, as we all do, I worry about. A feature like fall detection could make all the difference in a time of need.
It isn't as if the reports of Apple Watches coming to someone's aid are few and far between, either. A quick search of the iMore archives suggests that they are not short of a feel-good Apple Watch story. Whether it's older people falling in the bath, or younger ones getting themselves into car wrecks, the Apple Watch being able to call for help is a very real boon for people who can't always do it for themselves.
And then, of course, there are the heart rate features. They'll alert if someone's heart rate is too high or too low for a set period of time, as was the case with the 29-year-old woman who had a blood clot but didn't know it. The ECG functionality can also warn of other problems, as can the irregular heartbeat notifications.
All potential lifesavers on their own. Combined, they're impossible to ignore.
A proven track record
All of that is to say that the Apple Watch has a proven track record when it comes to saving lives. There's a reason that some health insurers offer them as free gifts when you take out one of their policies, too. Just being aware of your exercise levels — or lack of them — can be enough to trigger a change in attitude towards health. And that can be priceless.
The Apple Watch itself, however, isn't priceless unless you're getting that insurance freebie. But that's what makes the Apple Watch SE so vital, and I'd like to see it get even cheaper. Make these things impossible to ignore, put them on every wrist you can find. Save all the lives, because they all deserve saving.
This September will surely see Apple refresh the Apple Watch lineup. An updated Apple Watch SE might not be the sexiest of updates in a world where the Apple Watch Ultra exists. But here's to hoping Apple shows its cheaper wearable some love.
If only to save my bank balance.
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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.