How to set up medical ID on your phone

There’s a little-known feature buried deep within your smartphone that could potentially save your life in an emergency. Here’s how to set it up.

It’s been a feature of iOS since version 8, but surprisingly few people are aware of the Medical ID function and even fewer actually make use of it.

Android phones have similar functionality, but it is hampered by being buried deep within Android’s often overly complex Settings menu.

Medical ID helps emergency responders access your critical medical information from the lock screen, without needing your passcode. They can see information such as allergies and medical conditions, as well as who to contact in case of an emergency.

The real-life usefulness of Medical ID was on full display when Sydney nurse Lauren Rebecca saw a woman fall and hit her head while she was out shopping, Ms Rebecca told 7news.

“She was not unresponsive but she was very close to unresponsive,” she explained.

“In the back of my head, I’m thinking, ‘Why on earth did this woman collapse? Is there a cardiac thing, a neurological thing?

“When all of a sudden, I had the idea … She has an iPhone, I’m going to check her Medical ID. She didn’t have it updated.”

But she had updated her name, birthday, age, height and weight were listed in the Medical ID app.

“The fact that I had her name meant that I was able to communicate better with her and she could communicate by squeezing my hands a little bit better knowing that I was actually talking to her,” Ms Rebecca said. “However, it would have been really helpful if she did have her details up to date.”

How to set up Medical ID for iOS

First, open the Health app and tap the Summary tab. Then select your profile picture in the upper-right corner. Under your profile picture, tap Medical ID and then tap Edit in the top right-hand corner.

Here you can add your date of birth, height and weight, known medical conditions, allergies and reactions, as well as list any specific medicines you are taking. You’ll also have the option to add your blood type and whether or not you are an organ donor, and you can add the contact details of your partner or next of kin in case of emergency.

Once you have entered all the information, ensure you check the Show When Locked function at the top of the page. This means that, heaven forbid, if you have an accident, whoever picks up your phone can access your vital health information and possibly save your life in the process.

Medical ID for Android

For Android users, you can add important medical information through your phone’s Settings.

Within Settings, scroll down to find the Safety & Emergency option. It should be located around the Location and Passwords & Accounts tab.

From here, you should be able to add the same medical info as in Medical ID and enable the option for these details to visible from the lock screen in the event of an emergency.

Have you set up Medical ID on your phone? Have you ever needed to use it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: How to fix cracked iPhone screens and tired batteries

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