Do you ever stop and wonder what on earth you ever did before you had your phone? Our phones have revolutionised not just the way we communicate, but the way we live our lives. Sure, sometimes they can turn us into slaves, always contactable, always online. But they also have functions that can literally save our lives.
There’s a little-known medical emergency ID on your phone you can set up with all your details, so that medical professionals can access your info – even if your phone is locked – in an emergency.
I found out about this a couple of years ago and set mine up. Luckily I haven’t had to rely on it, but it’s great knowing if anything happens to me, doctors will know straight away about my allergies, my donor information, and my next of kin.
I can only imagine how challenging it must be for hospital staff when they see emergency patients coming in after an accident or sudden illness, and they have no idea of the patient’s history and they can’t contact their family to let them know what’s happened. Most of us keep our phone locked so it’s next to impossible for them to find out anything.
But setting up your medical info on your phone – where medical professionals can easily access it in a heartbeat – takes less than five minutes to set up, and it’s super easy.
All iPhones come with a “Health app” as standard. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Health app on your phone. The icon looks like a heart, but if you can’t see it, just swipe down on your phone and use the search bar to type in “health”.
- Select the “Medical ID” (star) icon on the bottom right-hand side.
- Enter as much or as little info as you like. Obviously the more info you share, the easier it will be for medical professionals to help in your time of need. I’d recommend at the minimum you put in your bloody type so that you can quickly receive a transfusion if you need one. You can also enter any medical conditions you have, medication you’re taking, and any allergies which may affect your treatment. You can also inform them in here that you’d like to be an organ donor, if you like. It’s not nice to think about, but making your wishes known here can make it easier for your family to give their consent and save the lives of others if something terrible happens to you.
- Next – and this is important – make sure you slide the panel to “show when locked” so that your details can be accessed from the locked screen.
- Select “Done” and you’re done. You can edit your info any time by following the same steps and selecting “Edit” in the Medical ID tab. It’s been a couple of years since I set mine up, and so I’ve just been in to check my details and update my next of kin following my divorce. It’s always a good idea to update.
And that’s it!
If you’re an Android user, you’re not left out. Some phones have a similar Medical ID feature. It’s worth checking in your phone. If it doesn’t have anything similar, you can install an app such as the Medical ID ICE contacts app.
Just a few minutes is all it takes to ensure you’re prepared for anything in the event of an emergency. Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but if you do, your family will be grateful you thought ahead.