Probably the most curious iPhone feature

The Apple Watch can already make an emergency call if the wearer has fallen. The iPhone even goes one step further and warns in advance if there is a risk of falling.

With the sensors in the iPhone, iOS 15 can perform a whole range of mobility measurements. These include step speed, step length, gait asymmetry, and how long both feet touch the ground at the same time when walking. From these measurements, iPhone can infer walking stability – and warn you of a risk of falling.

Stability while walking gives indication of state of health

Once walking stability measurement is enabled, the iPhone takes about a week to collect data about your gait. Using this data, the Health app in iOS creates a graph that tracks walking stability. This is divided into three levels: “OK,” “Low,” and “Very Low.”

As long as the iPhone assesses the walking stability as “OK”, everything is fine. However, the continuous measurement allows it to detect when the level gets a little worse and drops to “Low” or even “Very Low”. In this case, it warns the user that there is an increased risk of falling in the next twelve months. If one receives a notification that the walking stability. “Low” or “Very Low”, Apple also advises you to see a doctor.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the smartphone can predict that you’ll trip over a rock while walking. But the walking stability measurement does provide insight into how one’s gait is developing. According to Apple, health problems or medication can influence walking stability. Continuous measurement can therefore help to detect changes early and counteract them. For this purpose, Apple even provides users with a few sample exercises that can improve stability. These include strength, balance and walking exercises.

Also interesting: Hidden iOS 15 feature gives you relaxation

Enable notifications for walking stability on iPhone

1. open the Health app on the iPhone.

2. Click on the Overview tab and scroll to the Walking stability notifications entry. Tap Configure.

3. In the next window, confirm with Next.

4. now enter birthday, weight and height and continue with Next.

5. In the next window, confirm with Next.

6. Select Enable to turn on the notifications that warn you of a fall risk.

7. Complete the setup by clicking Done.

8. You can now track walking stability measurements on iPhone in the Health app. You can find the history in the Health app in the Discover tab under the Walking Stability menu item.

Sources

  • Apple Support
  • The Wall Street Journal