It's surprising how many different times a life has been saved by technology. It's not just phones stopping bullets either, there are plenty of other awesome stories too.

We've collected interesting tales and brilliant examples of everyday technologies and simple items that have saved a human life. 

The Week

Life-saving thermal imaging drone

When a man crashed his car in depths of a freezing night in Lincolnshire, he was thrown from his vehicle and lost in the cold. 

He was fortunately found and rescued from the icy grip of hypothermia thanks to the use of a police drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera. The footage from that drone shows the police officers locating the man via his body heat. He was found 500 feet from his car and was lucky to survive. 


Bullet-deflecting smartphones

There are a surprising number of stories about smartphones saving lives. From Nokia to HTC to Apple, phones all over the place have been saving people from life-ending bullets.

The owners are no doubt incredibly lucky and we'd certainly not recommend trying to deflect incoming rounds with your phone or replacing a bullet-proof vest with a coat stuffed full of mobiles. Nonetheless, the stories are fairly fantastic and are brilliant examples of accidental life-saving technology. 

Interesting Engineering

An arrow stopping iPhone

An Australian man arrived home to find a man in his driveway wielding a bow and arrow in a menacing fashion.

The victim grabbed his phone to start filming and quickly found his iPhone pierced by the arrow. The tip managed to catch him on the chin, but he was otherwise unharmed. The iPhone was worse for wear, but still a smashing story of technology saving lives. 

Pexels/Edu Carvalho

Woman's life saved by taking selfies

In 2018, a lady named Juanita Branch thought she was having a stroke. She took to snapping some selfies to see if her face was falling on one side. Those photos were crucial in treating her condition as the time they were taken helped doctors diagnose and treat her and may have helped save her life


IBM's Watson AI saved a woman from leukaemia

IBM's Watson is undoubtedly a clever piece of tech. It's capable of advanced natural language processing, information retrieval, automated reasoning and more. 

In 2016, the system was used by the University of Tokyo for the medical analysis of an elderly lady. Watson was able to diagnose the 60-year-old with a rare form of leukaemia that had been incorrectly identified previously. It did so by comparing her medical records with a large database of 20 million cancer research papers to provide a proper diagnosis that led to her life-saving treatment. 


Perfectly timed ejector seat

This snap captures the moment a pilot of an RAF Harrier Jump Jet miraculously escapes a blazing fireball of disaster as their plane crashes on the runway.

The image was captured at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan and no doubt shows on lucky pilot using technology to escape almost certain death at the very last second. 


Apple Watch predicts a heart attack

Another story of technology helping with medical problems comes from Atlanta where a 61-year-old man was alerted by his Apple Watch that his heart rate unusually high despite being inactive. 

There's a setting within the Heart Rate app which lets users know if there's an unusual heart rate detected despite the wearer being inactive for 10 minutes. David Gilley received the alert and, knowing he already had health issues, took himself to hospital. Good thing he did too, because by the time he got there, his heart was failing but doctors were able to give him the treatment he needed and he was able to go home a few days later. 


Zippo lighter saves an officer's life

This incredible image shows a classic Zippo lighter that saved a police officer's life. The lighter was close to his heart (presumably in his front pocket) and caught the impact of the bullet preventing his untimely death. 

That's one lucky lighter. Fairly ironic considering the lighter is probably used for smoking cigarettes normally and likely to be his undoing. Maybe smoking isn't always bad for you?

CBS News

Hearing aids that help babies hear

Okay, this one isn't exactly a life-saving technology but it certainly is life-changing. There have been various reports over the last few years of babies born with hearing defects and problems who are then issued with hearing aids or implants to help them hear the world around them. Essentially deaf children are seen hearing their mother's voice for the first time or just being able to hear sounds and it's lighting up their world. 


A head protection device saves F1 driver's life

This photo shows a terrific Formula One car crash where driver Charles Leclerc had his life saved by the "Halo" head protection device

The Halo is a ring-like device that was introduced to vehicle design to protect the driver's head in case something like this happened. Leclerc Tweeted this image saying he was happy to have the protection from the Halo. The aftermath image also shows just how lucky the driver had been. 


Seatbelts save lives

For a recent safety campaign, the New Zealand Transport Agency, used several young people who had been in car crashes where seat belts had saved their lives. They were asked to tell the story of their accidents and what had happened to them. 

Makeup was used alongside post-crash photographs to recreate their injuries and help tell the story of why it's so important to belt up. 

The humble seatbelt might not seem like much of a technological marvel but it's certainly a life saver. 


Helmets save your noggin

Ever felt like you're too cool to wear a helmet? Think again. Look around the web and you'll find various different images of motorbike and other helmets that have been in various accidents. 

This image is perhaps one of the most shocking. If this rider hadn't been wearing the appropriate safety gear, that would have been their skull that had been ground down instead. Shocking and amazing at the same time. 


Fitbit saves a woman from a life-threatening condition

In 2017, Patricia Lauder was alerted to a problem with her health when her Fitbit warned her that her resting heart rate was rising unusually. She had noticed that she was short of breath and felt like her heartbeat was too rapid. When her Fitbit showed her resting heartbeat had gone from 60 to 140 BPM, she decided to call the emergency services. 

At the hospital, the doctors determined that she had blood clots on both lungs and applied cloth-thinning medication to alleviate the problem. A fantastic life-saving thanks to a simple fitness tracker. 


Explosion defying iPhone

This is the wrecked remains of an Apple iPhone owned by one of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombings.

The owner of this phone, Lisa Bridgett, was using it during the concert when the bomb went off. Her phone took some of the impact of the shrapnel and although a steel nut cut through her face, the phone may well have saved her life