Medical ID on phone helps first responders in emergencies

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Imagine you have a heart attack or lose consciousness in a public place but your friends and family aren't around to help. There is a way for first responders to access your medical information on your iPhone without needing your passcode.

It starts with taking advantage of the Medical ID option on your iPhone health app. You can also enter your date of birth, medical conditions, any allergies, reactions or medications. You can add your blood type and sign up to be an organ donor. You can also enter your height, weight and emergency contact information

"It's extremely important to know a little bit about their history. It helps us direct their care. It helps us go in a certain direction with medications and make evaluations of our patients," said Dr. Dan Slubowski with IU Health Methodist Hospital.

But many iPhone users don't know the option is available.

"It actually happens far more often that we don't have a lot of information about the patients that come in to see us and we don't have a lot of contact information for them," said Dr. Slubowski.

"I actually have my information in my iPhone just in case somebody needs it," said Dr. Slubowski. "I actually have my emergency contact number in there, I have my blood type in there, my birth date so it tells people what age I am. That's as far as I have right now."

Before you end up in the emergency room, help first responders learn who you are and who they should contact. When seconds count, that information matters.

If you don't see your Medical ID option on your iPhone, download the latest IOS. If you have an Android phone look for the Health app in your app store.

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Add Emergency Information to Your Smartphone

There are two ways to start the process on your iPhone.

  1. Go to Settings. Scroll down to Emergency SOS (if you have iOS 11.0 or newer.) Then select “Set Up Emergency Contacts in Health”

  1. Open the Health app. (white backdrop with red heart)

In the Health App, select the “Medical ID” option in the lower right corner.

Select Edit.

Enter as much or as little information as you want and click ‘Done.’ You probably don’t need your entire medical history. Just what would be useful in an emergency. Make sure the “Show When Locked” option is on.

To check your information is available for emergency workers: Lock your phone and call up the Passcode screen. Tap the word “Emergency” in the lower left.

Tap the red Medical ID in the lower left.

You should see your information.

For Android and other smartphones:

You can download an app that had the Medical ID/Emergency Contact functions.

Some Android phones have a group contact that does the same thing. Just look for “ICE – In Case of Emergency” in the group contacts section.

Your best bet may be to check your user manual or with your provider for instructions.