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Apple's medical monitor detects emergencies

Posted: 14 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wearables? emergency? medical monitor?

Apple has filed a patent at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for its new Emergency Alert System, stating that the device can detect "care events" and sound alerts in instances of medical emergencies such as a heart attack or a fall. Apple's new device can also alert family and the authorities in case of events such as bike accidents, a mugging, car crashes and a separation of a child from its caregiver.

"For example, a user who has been in a car crash may telephone emergency services for an ambulance. However, in many cases, the user may be incapacitated and/or otherwise unable to initiate communications regarding the care event," the patent filing explains.

The technology would also give the user a certain amount of time to shut off a pending alarm before family, the police, or a local fire department is notified. In the event of a false alarm, a user could turn it off using a voice, motion or gesture or a headshake.

Emergency Alert System

Figure 1: Apple patents application system that detects "care events" for medical emergencies.

The patent application shows a sketch of the technology being used by a jogger with a fitness monitor on her bicep. The device could send biometric information about users to their iPhone but also potentially send alerts to users' contacts.

The device could also potentially store medical records or other medical information or obtain the information from other devices. Storing information about a user's blood type for instance could be potentially useful in preparing a transfusion. Or the device could alert authorities if the user is a diabetic to help improve their treatment.

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