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Old 12-16-2020, 06:48 PM   #1
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Apple Watch for health monitoring?

I live alone in a rural area and I travel alone. A few months ago Jim (CPAHarley2008) pointed out that there are risks living out in the country alone. Traveling alone entails risks as well. I'm used to it, but as I get older I wonder if there is some technology that will reduce the probability of my having a medical emergency that is not detected in time.

I've read a bit about the medical functions of the Apple Watch but I don't know much. I'm guessing that in this group there are people who purchased one with the medical functions in mind. If so, please let us know about it. Thanks.
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Old 12-16-2020, 06:58 PM   #2
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Iím a 70 year old retired internal medicine physician with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Thatís the one specific cardiac rhythm disturbance that the Apple Watch can really help alert a wearer about its onset (as we may not feel it until a stroke ensues 2-3 days after it begins).

If you fall down and are unresponsive or canít get up, the watch can pick that up and send an emergency messageóif youíve bought the watch version that has a cell radio in it.

Finally, the newest watch version can check the oxygen concentration in your blood. Thatís one of the important criteria for deciding if one needs an emergency room evaluation in the event of a ďcough, fever...I donít know if Iíve got the real deal or not.Ē

I like my Apple Watch.
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Old 12-16-2020, 07:42 PM   #3
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I have one and like it. In fact, I upgraded to the new one for the oxygen monitoring. And we got one for my mother for the fall detection. She doesn't carry her cell phone but I can use the find my app to find her location as long as she has her watch on, and since it records steps even at water aerobics, she likes it and wears it- and recharges it.

But aside from the health stuff, it is a very useful gadget. I have mine set so calendar events show on my watch, and I have my calendar set to show tides and sunrise/sunset as well as things I enter, so I'm always using it for that. It has a simple to use timer that I often use for cooking. I can read and when reply by dictation to messages and decide if I need to answer a phone call. you can get a charger stand that lets it work as a bedside clock, too.

So far mine has not detected falls accurately. That is, I've taken a few soft falls that don't register (which is good) but it has reported a fall when I've pushed something hard or clapped my hands hard. But it doesn't call for help as long as I respond and say I didn't fall.
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Old 12-16-2020, 07:45 PM   #4
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If you fall down and are unresponsive or canít get up, the watch can pick that up and send an emergency messageóif youíve bought the watch version that has a cell radio in it.
It will also send a message if your phone is nearby or it is connected to wifi. You set up who it messages besides 911. There was a case here in Washington where an older man was supposed to meet his family and went hiking first, and he took a bad fall, and by the time they got to where they had phone coverage he had already been rescued and was at the hospital being checked out.
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:05 PM   #5
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It will also send a message if your phone is nearby or it is connected to wifi. You set up who it messages besides 911. There was a case here in Washington where an older man was supposed to meet his family and went hiking first, and he took a bad fall, and by the time they got to where they had phone coverage he had already been rescued and was at the hospital being checked out.

I have an iPhone 6s that is with me all the time. So if I fall or have some kind of medical incident it will alert my contacts via the phone, and I will not need the cell option in the watch?
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:06 PM   #6
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I mean, if I buy the Apple Watch without the cellular option it will use my iPhone to alert people?
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:23 PM   #7
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I have an iPhone 6s that is with me all the time. So if I fall or have some kind of medical incident it will alert my contacts via the phone, and I will not need the cell option in the watch?
Yes. As long as your phone is nearby or your watch is connected to Wifi you can make calls and answer them on the watch, even without cellular. Nearby as in your pocket everything would work. When I'm outside and the phone is inside, I can hear it ring and see who it is but really can't get enough signal to talk.

And it has to be set for wifi calling.
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Old 12-16-2020, 09:30 PM   #8
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I'm able to answer phone calls with my non-cellular Apple Watch as long as my iPhone is within about 40 feet of me. It's very helpful for NOT answering calls when I don't recognize the number...
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Old 12-16-2020, 11:36 PM   #9
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Correct, if your phone is nearby (within bluetooth range) then you do not need the cellular Apple Watch since it will use your phone to make the connection. Although it's more expensive, I'd go with the cellular version of the watch (you do not need to turn on the cellular feature). This gives you more options in the future if you want to use the watch independently without relying on your phone's cellular connection


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I have an iPhone 6s that is with me all the time. So if I fall or have some kind of medical incident it will alert my contacts via the phone, and I will not need the cell option in the watch?
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Old 12-17-2020, 07:17 AM   #10
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Another nice feature is that you can have your watch beep your phone when you've misplaced it.

on the O2 measurement- it works great when it works. I've compared it to my sPO2 meter and get the same readings within 1-2%. But a lot of times when I try to measure I get "Unsuccessful measurement." Then it tells me my watch band may be either too loose or too tight! when I don't try and it is just measuring in the background it seems to do fine. I have not figured out what the optimal tightness is. It also does not (as far as I've found) alert to low O2, just tells you the last reading it took. Not sure why not as it alerts to fast or slow heartbeat or A-fib if you set that up.
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:28 AM   #11
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Over the past two decades of practice with older patients, Iíd recommend familiesí subscribing to fall-alert device services (using a small device on a necklace and connecting with their in-house landline phone) so that elderly relatives could safely remain in more independent living situations longer. Users could push a button and inform that they couldnít get up from a fall. But fairly expensive!

The Apple Watch was a real game changer in this market for the relatively more frail. Cheaper overall. And what are we Escapers doing? Weíre often older persons who want to enjoy the beauty and peace of amazing North American nature for a few extra years, in relative safety and comfort with our trailers!

As others have said, the Watch isnít perfect. I occasionally set off the fall alert when chopping wood. And its internal cell radio isnít the most powerful. But it caught a fall when I twisted an ankle and went down; what if itíd been a broken hip and I couldnít get up? And I check my cardiac rhythm as a daily habit, verifying Iím in a normal rhythm (or not, ).

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Old 12-17-2020, 04:37 PM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback, folks. I ordered one. What finally sold me was that the Apple Watch can tap out the time in Morse code on my wrist. After learning that I couldn't resist. Thanks again.
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Old 12-17-2020, 05:37 PM   #13
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Ok I have been following this and the watch sounds like a good thing for us older folks that live further out in the boondocks. Actually, I don’t think I could stand living in a village with neighbors close.
So the watch connects to your phone and WiFi. Do you have to buy an extra plan? Or does it work off your phone plan?
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Old 12-17-2020, 06:04 PM   #14
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I'm taking it the phone it connects to for cell needs to be an iphone?
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Old 12-17-2020, 06:20 PM   #15
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Ok I have been following this and the watch sounds like a good thing for us older folks that live further out in the boondocks. Actually, I don’t think I could stand living in a village with neighbors close.
So the watch connects to your phone and WiFi. Do you have to buy an extra plan? Or does it work off your phone plan?
If you just get the regular one it works off your phone plan but your phone has to be nearby. If you want it to work without your phone you add it to your plan but most carriers have a cheap way to do that. (i haven't added mine yet because I have Verizon prepaid and you can't add it there so I'm deciding what to change to.)

It has to be an iphone 6s or later. But if you don't have one and a family member does, some carriers let you add the watch to someone else's plan. Just leaves them controlling the settings except what can be done from the watch.
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