Since its introduction in 2007, Apple has introduced new features with every new version of iPhone and iOS. While the iPhone is great at taking photos, it also has apps that can save your life in an emergency. The addition of the Health app is a groundbreaking feature but many users don’t have it setup properly. One emergency care nurse shared on Facebook how having your medical history or emergency contacts can often mean the difference between life or death in an emergency.
Every iPhone has a feature called ‘Medical ID’. Creating a Medical ID is one of the most important things you can do when setting up your smartphone. Here is an excerpt from Julia Thompson’s post on Facebook about the importance of setting up Medical ID:
Working in a public hospital and seeing patients in ED all the time I see many patients come in and we have had no way of knowing who they are or how to contact their next of kin or their medical history! And their phones are locked!
But many people don’t realize that you and patients can set up something called a “Medical ID” on your iPhone if you have the health app (free with iPhone, not a hack). I didn’t even realize this when I got my own iPhone!
This information can be accessed even while the phone is locked by clicking on the emergency options and can display things like name, DOB, emergency contacts, medical conditions and even blood type and donor status. You can even add notes.
It can be managed by clicking on the little “Health” app that comes default on the phone (heart icon and then in the app go to the little star shape with medical ID) and given everyone I have spoken to today has never heard of it it seemed like a social media share kind of moment!
Enabling and setting up Medical ID allows emergency responders to access critical medical information in the event of a medical emergency.
Here are the steps to enable and set up your Medical ID in the Health app:
- Turn on your iPhone and tap the Health icon (the app with the red heart).
- After the app opens, tap Medical ID in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
- Next, tap Edit and enter information such as your birth date, health information, emergency contacts and more.
- Before saving, make sure ‘Show When Locked‘ (see image below) is enabled. This will ensure your Medical ID can be viewed even if the iPhone is locked.
- Tap save when done. That’s it!
Important: You’ll want to ensure that ‘Show When Locked’ is enabled. This allows your medical ID to be viewed even if your iPhone is locked.
How to make an emergency call or access your medical information
Another advantage of setting up Medical ID is allowing first responders to contact your emergency contact or dial 911 if needed. To make a 911 call or access your medical ID, follow these steps:
- Press the Home button.
- Tap Emergency.
- The next screen will allow you or others to make a 911 call and/or access your medical information and emergency contacts.
This is one of those features you hope to never have to use; however, it provides peace of mind to know your medical information and emergency contacts are available if needed. Please share this life-saving iPhone feature with your friends and family.