One doctor recommends lifesaving Apple Watch to every patient over 60

I’ve fallen myself and am over 60 and agree that the Apple Watch was a true blessing each time. The only downside is that the Apple Watch requires charging daily which is sometimes too much of a task to remember for the oldest elderly. I look forward to the day when Apple provides at least one model that has a battery that will last for a year.

But I do think this article is a bit over the top. The woman who fell on her way out of the shower wouldn’t have been wearing her watch and the doctor making the recommendation was in no apparent danger.

Doctor is ‘not a crazy Apple person’ and recommends lifesaving Apple Watch to every patient

Chance Miller, @ChanceHMiller, Oct. 25th 2022 9:38 am PT

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The Apple Watch is being credited with saving the life of a doctor who fell from the side of his house while power washing. Recounting his story to NBC Chicago, Dr. Thomas Ficho not only credits the Apple Watch Series 5 with saving his life, but he also explains why he tells all of his patients they need to wear an Apple Watch…

Dr. Ficho was wearing his Apple Watch Series 5 while power washing bricks on the side of his house. To reach higher, he decided to use the cover on the window as a step. But once he stepped on it, the cover slipped and he “plunged five feet into the basement egress well” and lost consciousness.

After the fall, the Apple Watch’s fall detection feature kicked in and called emergency services on Dr. Ficho’s behalf.

After three to five minutes, Ficho said he was able to climb out of the well himself. When he did, there was a Glenview police officer standing on his lawn. The officer asked him if he was OK or needed a paramedic. Ficho said “no” but asked the officer how he knew the internist needed help. The officer pointed to Ficho’s watch.

“I was really surprised,” Ficho said. “I didn’t put it together immediately that my watch was going to do that.”

Fall detection first came to the Apple Watch with the Series 4. It is able to detect when you fall and ask you if you are OK. If it sees that you are unresponsive for one minute, it will automatically call emergency services and share your current location. The feature is disabled by default for users under the age of 65, but here’s how to enable it manually.

Dr. Ficho’s advice to everyone

At his practice, Dr. Ficho says most of his patients are older, and a lot of them are over the age of 60. Because of this, he says he tells all of them that they need an Apple Watch on their wrist as often as possible.

“The majority of my patients are grown adults and a lot of them are over 60. And I have told every single one of them that they need to have one of these watches. I don’t even work in Apple infrastructure, I work in PC infrastructure. I’m not a crazy Apple person. This was an astounding event to me. It was just so incredible this happened.”

He recounted one situation where the Apple Watch could have helped save the life of one of his patients:

He recalled a patient who stepped out of the shower, fell in her bathroom, broke her hip and could not get up. Her body was found three days later. 

“All she needed was a watch,” Ficho said, wishing the technology had existed at the time.

Read more stories of Apple Watch helping save people’s lives in our full Apple Health guide.

2 thoughts on “One doctor recommends lifesaving Apple Watch to every patient over 60

    1. They don’t even need to develop pneumonia to die. The hospitalization and bed rest often present perfect opportunities for other pre-existing conditions to become final. Fear of falling is a big (and very reasonable) issue for the elderly.


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