It’s something we all hope will never happen: a sudden medical crisis leaves you unconscious or otherwise unable to speak with first responders or emergency room staff. These professionals are trained to do everything they can for you, but what if they don’t have all the information they need? Maybe you’ve got a serious allergy, a rare blood type, or a medical condition that could affect treatment. These facts could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
Beyond this critical information, the sad fact is that every day, many people end up in the hospital with no way for staff to identify them or contact a relative or guardian. Experts suggest including an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact in your phone’s address book. This can be helpful, but with all the sensitive information piling up on phones these days, more and more of us are choosing to put a passcode lock in place.
Thankfully, ever since Apple released iOS 8, there has been a way to make all your important medical information available from the lock screen. The feature, called Medical ID, can contain as much or as little information as you feel you need to share.
Setting it up is simple. Open up the Health App that is included on your iPhone.
Tap the “Medical ID” button at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll see a mostly empty Medical ID page. Tap “Edit” in the upper-right corner, and you’ll be able to add medical conditions, allergies, blood type, identifying marks, medications you take, emergency contacts, and more. The list is quite extensive, but you only have to add as much as you’re comfortable with.
Make sure that you have the setting enabled to allow the phone to show this info on the lock screen before you hit “Done.”
Now, when your phone is locked, you can simply tap “Emergency” to bring up the emergency dialing screen (also used to dial 911 on a locked phone) and then tap “Medical ID” on the emergency screen. It’s an easy way to add an extra measure of safety when you’re out and about.
Be sure to SHARE this potentially life-saving information with your family and friends.