iPhone Medical ID

There is a new feature in iOS 8 that runners and everyone  should be aware of even if they do not own an iPhone. In iOS 8 you are able to create a Medical ID in the Health App. The Medical ID allows emergency responders to easily obtain important information about the phones owner. Information such as name, birthdate, medical conditions, allergies, medications and an emergency contact.

Many people create a contact labeled ICE, for in case of emergency. The problem is that if the iPhone is locked with a passcode or fingerprint then no one will have access to it. The Medical ID in iOS 8 can be easily accessed by anyone even when the iPhone is locked. To view it on a locked iPhone simply swipe to unlock. On the screen where you will be prompted to Enter Passcode simply press Emergency in the bottom left corner. On the bottom left of the Emergency Call Screen you will see * Medical ID. Just touch there and it will bring up the phone owners Medical ID. It even lists the date the information was last updated.

To create a Medical ID begin by opening the Health app and then choose Medical ID in the bottom right corner. You will receive a description of the feature and a button to create the ID. You can then enter as much or as little of the information as you would like, including emergency contacts.  Be sure that the option to Show When Locked is toggled on, otherwise no one can access it when the phone is locked.

In terms of privacy it's important to remember that any information you include is not seen by other apps but can be seen by anyone who gets hold of your phone. It's a privacy trade off but probably worth it if you have a medical emergency. Providing relevant information to first responders could save your life. It's also important to remember if you are in a situation to help someone else who is incapacitated, to check their phone to see if they have provided their Medical ID.