For those of use with a rare blood type, a dangerous allergy, epilepsy or other serious medical condition that a First Responder would need to be aware of should you be incapacitated during an accident or medical emergency, MedicAlert wristbands have been a lifesaver.
These metal wrist bands allow EMT personnel or law enforcement officials to access a Medic Alert wearers’ medical history and special medical needs.
You may have heard that Apple has added a similar feature to its recent iPhones and iPads (those capable of running iOS 8): an emergency Medical ID plus “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contact information. This is not — in our view — a replacement for MedicAlert wristbands, as there are many ways an iPhone could get separated from its owner.
Nonetheless, many people would get peace of mind adding contact information and critical health information to their iPhone — especially since this new feature does not require keeping the phone unlocked for the information to be accessed.
The Apple Medical ID can be accessed by anyone who turns on your iPhone, without knowing your pass code.
We’ll show you how to set this up on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8.
Step 1: Open the new Apple Health App.
On the bottom right, click on the Medical ID icon.
Step 2: Add Your Medical and Emergency Contact Information
What type of information should I add to my Apple Medical ID?
The Apple Medical ID allows you to made these field public to anyone who finds your iPhone:
- Birth Date
- Medical Conditions
- Medical Notes
- Allergies / Reactions
- Emergency Contacts (ICE)
- Blood Type
- Organ Donor Status
- Weight and Height.
If you have a special medical condition, choose the items that will help in an emergency situation. It could save a life!
Everyone might consider adding an “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contact information.
Remember even if you have this in your regular phone contact list, someone finding your iPhone won’t be able to access the ICE number if you keep your iPhone locked with a pass code — unless you also add it to your Medical ID.
Step 3: Now we are done. Let’s test accessing the Medical ID on an iPhone.
Return to the main lock screen, where you would normally enter your pass code or fingerprint scan to access your iPhone or iPad.
Take note of the Emergency button on the lower left. (We’ve highlighted it with a gold box). Click on Emergency.
Step 4: Click on Medical ID to view your information.
You may not have ever used the Emergency mode before. It allows your iPhone to call 911 even if the mobile telephone service is turned off.
Now that you have set up your Medical ID, you’ll see the button to access it in the lower left of the Emergency dial pad. We’ve also highlight this in gold.
Step 5: Review your Medical ID and Emergency Contact information
Check the information for errors and review carefully which information is now publically accessible to anyone who gets a hold of your iPhone or iPad.
Now you can help a friend or relative set up their critical health and emergency information on their iPhone or iPad.