We’ve written about smart fall detection systems for elderly people numerous times. In 2015, we covered Simple Wearables’ SimpleWave, a passive wearable to detect falls and send alerts including both the incident and the strength of impact to care providers. In 2019, we wrote about Vayyar’s Walabot Home wall-mounted passive fall detection system that uses radio waves to detect bodies when they are standing, sitting, moving, or motionless. The Walabot Home system gives the user two minutes to cancel an alert to a trusted contact. We also wrote about Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aid that senses falls with onboard motion sensors and automatically sends an alert to up to three pre-configured contacts. There are many fall detection devices, systems, and response services available with a range of features, benefits, and limitations.

At CES 2021, Trumbull, Connecticut-based FallCall Solutions introduced FallCall Direct. FallCall Direct is an Apple Watch app that will use sensors in the watch to distinguish between high-impact and low-impact falls. When the app determines a high-impact fall has occured, it will connect to FallCall’s subscription-based medical monitoring service to send emergency responders if necessary. In the event of a detected low-impact call, the app will alert pre-configured user support contacts. According to the developer, Smart Fall Detect for the Apple Watch will be highly accurate “with a goal of reducing false ambulance activations.”

FallCall Direct is not currently available. People who use a predecessor product FallCall Lite or who sign up on the FallCall Direct product product page will receive an invitation to download a beta version, according to the company. FallCall Lite is available for iOS and Android, FallCall Direct will be an Apple Watch-only app, at least at first; there’s no mention of an Android version on the way.

We’re all for products that protect and keep people safe and healthy, but usability is an essential factor in its effectiveness. FallCall claims first-of-its-kind status, which it may be for Apple Watch-only products based on its combination of software and services. Its dependence on the Apple Watch platform may not be suitable for all seniors, however. The FallCall Detect system requires that the watch be charged and worn. While this will suite some seniors and others who are at risk of falls, this may be beyond some elderly users’ abilities.