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Using troves of data from iPhone users, Apple thinks it’s cracked an elusive problem: Identifying when older people are on the cusp of a devastating fall injury.

Later this year, the iPhone will begin tracking a new metric called Walking Steadiness, and will use it to warn users that may fall. The feature targets a tremendous and often overlooked problem for older adults, accounting for some 3 million emergency room visits each year.


But it remains an open question whether such information and loose guidance about what to do with it will prevent falls without robust links to the health care system.

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