Life-saving Technology

Medical ID on iPhone allows first responders, good Samaritans to access crucial information — like allergies — in the event of an emergency


Olivia Pfannenschmidt, Copy Editor

When it comes to the medical world, the use and knowledge of technology changes almost daily. Some medical diseases or disorders get a lot of attention when it comes to seriousness, but what about allergies?
Many people have allergies, and no matter how serious they are, they are commonly overlooked. Some of the most common allergies are medications, pollen, food and stings or bites of insects. No matter what the allergy, the situation could go from mild to severe quickly. Whether it’s an unknown allergy, or one that caused only mild reactions before, it can escalate within seconds.
What happens in a medical emergency if the person is unresponsive? If the paramedics arrive on scene, how will they know how to treat the person?
Recently, the technology world developed a way for first responders and those aiding an unresponsive individual to help using only the lock screen on a smartphone.
If you have an Apple iPhone that is iOS 8 or higher, the app is pre-installed and cannot be deleted. Although, the setup and use can differ from iPhone 7 and earlier to more recent iPhones. You can add all your medical information to the app. After you do this, if you go to your settings under emergency access you can enable the “Show When Locked.” This will add the medical information to your phone, even if you are locked out.
When someone opens the app through your lock screen, they are able to view all the medical information and allergies you have in a matter of seconds. If you click “Emergency” in the lower left corner then it will pop up with Emergency SOS and Medical ID.
The app has options to add allergies in specific. The app also includes data of your full name, blood type, address, medications, an organ donor and any medical notes.
To set up Medical ID
Open the Health app, tap your avatar, and tap Medical ID, or go to Settings > Health > Medical ID.
Tap “Edit” at the upper right.
Fill in your personal details, including allergies and reactions.
At the bottom, select “Add Emergency Contact,” select a contact, and phone number.
Repeat, adding contacts as desired.
Tap Done to save your information.
Use Medical ID
To access your Medical ID, press and hold both the side button and either of the volume buttons to show Emergency SOS, and then slide the Medical ID slider [this disables Touch ID and Face ID, and passcode will be required to unlock the iPhone].
To access someone else’s Medical ID — in the even of an accident:
From the Lock screen, press the “Home” button or swipe up to get to the Passcode screen.
Tap “Emergency” in the lower-left corner.
On the Emergency Call screen, tap “Medical ID.”
Now, for any Android, the process of setup and use is a little different. When you go to Settings, you should select the “Edit Information” tab, and you can add all of your medical information. From there, you can select emergency contacts and finish the setup process.
To access the emergency info on an Android, swipe up, select “Emergency (information)” and you will be able to see their medical information and contacts; you can then dial an emergency number.
These apps and resources have been installed on all phones for a few years now, but they are fairly new. As many people didn’t know about these new resources, many overlook the importance of medical information in a hurry. Regardless of the type or model of phone, this modern-day technology can truly save lives.