Monday, April 13, 2015

How To Setup Emergency Health Information On Your IPhone

There is a little known and often overlooked feature built into IOS 8, that may just save your life. During a health emergency a first responder or bystander may take a look at that IPhone for identification. In most cases this will fail because of the PIN lock. Fortunately, Apple has provided a Medical ID section within the new Health App that gives you the opportunity to add important health information. In addition, this information can be accessed from the lock screen - without a PIN. The Medical ID section of the Health app is a generic medical information and history form. The data includes birthdate, existing medical conditions, notes about those conditions or your medical history, allergies, medications, emergency contact (including relationship to you), blood type, whether you're an organ donor and your height and weight. You can add or delete as you wish.



To add your health information: Tap the Health app. Tap Medical ID - the icon at the lower right corner. Then, tap Create Medical ID to enter your information, including birthday medical condition, medication, emergency contact, blood type, height, weight and more. If you are concerned about privacy you may want to leave off your birthdate.

At the top of the pane labeled Emergency Access, there is a toggle to allow access to the Medical ID panel from the lock screen of your iPhone. This means that in an emergency an EMT, first responder, bystander or co-worker will be able to access the information. Simply Swipe To Unlock and tap the emergency button. By default this only allows someone to dial 911. However, if you allow lock screen access to the Medical ID panel, there will be a Medical ID button at the lower left of the keypad. Tapping that button provides access to the Medical ID information and enables direct calls to the listed emergency contact(s).

What about Privacy? Anyone who has physical access to your iPhone can potentially access this information. If your phone is lost or stolen and a "bad guy" reads your Medical Information - how important is it? Only you can answer that question. Remember you always have Find My iPhone (if you have turned it on) to locate and erase all of your data.