The new cell service enhanced Apple Watch has the potential to save a lot of lives

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So the internets are buzzing after the Apple special event. People immediately started throwing shade at each other about why the X is the best thing/worst thing/most boring/most exciting thing that’s ever happened to phones.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting here sipping my coffee trying not to do a backflip over the new Apple Watch having cell service. There are the obvious reasons why it’s exciting. Streaming music without lugging my phone around is one. Being able to text/call my kiddo at any time from my wrist is another.

But as a person who has seizures the number one most exciting aspect is being able to use it as a medical alert device.

I have been dying inside waiting for companies like Amazon to add 911 calls to their Alexa service, and it’s still a no go. If I have a seizure, after I recover if I still have my phone nearby I can call family or the ER if necessary. If my phone is out of reach, I’m screwed. Being able to raise my wrist and call 911 is absolutely incredible.

I haven’t had a seizure in ages, but since you can’t really schedule them, now that my daughter is off at school living in a dorm my family has been freaking out threatening to buy me one of those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” devices. Which I’m not knocking at all, it’s amazing that they exist and they’ve saved so many lives.

But man am I happy that I can just slap on a sexy new watch to stream music, talk to my wrist like I’m on Star Trek, AND call emergency services if necessary instead. Loving it.

In addition to contacting 911, you can program it to message your emergency contacts. Instead of floundering around after calling 911 to make calls when you’re in rough shape or waiting for the hospital to let people know you’re in trouble, you just swipe once to reach 911 and your contacts at the same time.

There’s also a medical ID area that will display health details and alerts if you want it to, where you can list medical conditions and medications. I get that some folks aren’t comfortable giving that info in a place that can be easily reached by others, but in my case it’s a killer feature.

Heaven forbid you’re ever assaulted, but if it happens, when you click the button it sends your GPS coordinates and updates them. Given that you no longer need your iPhone nearby, and your watch is works anywhere you have cell service, if an attacker tosses your phone, your watch keeps updating your location.

The watch is also there for you in case you’re ever in an auto accident. Phones tend to go flying on impact, which is no longer an issue. One button press and 911 and your emergency contacts are on the way.

My point is this. The new Apple watch has the potential to save a lot of lives. It’s not a primary marketing focus for the company, which is kind of a shame. If you have family or friends with health or mobility issues, or just want the security of knowing that you can reach 911 and your emergency contacts any time without needing your phone handy, the new Apple watch is an awesome option.

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UX Blogger ~ Product Designer ~ Sr Mgr of Design Community Partnerships @InVisionApp Opinions are my own ❤ (© 2014–2019 Jennifer Aldrich)

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