Set up a medical ID on your phone

After certain initial reservations, I must admit that I am now a big fan of Apple’s ‘Health’ app. It comes standard on all new iPhones and has been a part of iOS since version 8. I began using it to track my sleeping habits and, since seeing that it was quite a handy app, I have been tracking my steps, the kilometres I’ve walked each day, as well as to monitor my weight and BMI.

One thing that initially held me back from using the Health app was the idea that Apple could sell my health data to third parties but, quite honestly, it’ll probably do it anyway, so I conquered my fear and dove in. I mean, it’s no secret that Apple and Google are tracking your movements, and who really knows what these tech giants do and do not have access to. It should comfort you to know, though, that with this particular app, Apple does make the disclaimer “This information is not included in your Health Data or shared with other apps” – for what it’s worth.

Anyway, now I’m getting off track. We’re here to learn how to create a medical ID, not find out my opinions on information retrieval and data retention.

I have never set up my own medical ID, even though I’ve been using the Health app for over a year now. So let’s do it together, shall we?

First, open your Health app. It’s the icon that looks like this:

Then, at the bottom of the app page, you’ll see this navigation strip:

Click on Medical ID and then ‘Create Medical ID’. 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. Pretty handy, huh?

Now, for all you Android users out there, we’ve not been able to find a similar function, but if you’re aware of any, let us know in the comments below.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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