How to save emergency medical information in your iPhone

By Chris Chamberlin , January 11 2016
How to save emergency medical information in your iPhone

TRAVEL TIP | With today’s breed of smartphones practically focusing on everything other than making telephone calls, it should come as no surprise that Apple iPhones can double as your emergency contact card.

That’s thanks to a nifty ‘Medical ID’ feature in Apple’s Health app – installed by default on phones running iOS 8 and newer – which lets you save your emergency contact information, medical conditions, organ donor status and more, which can be accessed even when your phone is locked.

To save your information, open that Health app, click ‘Medical ID’ in the bottom right corner and begin by completing basics such as your name and a photograph (which can help to identify you if you’re unable to respond), and any important medical conditions…

… including allergies, medications, your blood type and organ donor status. Savvy road warriors could also add their travel insurance details as a ‘medical note’ including their policy number to make things easy if urgent medical assistance is ever needed overseas…

… and of course, you can add one or several emergency contacts. When all is complete, tap ‘Done’ and you can preview your Medical ID within the Health app:

Provided you checked the ‘show when locked’ option, the information you’ve entered here can now be accessed by anybody who comes across your phone – such as doctors and ambulance staff if you’re rushed to hospital or even passers-by after an incident.

They can do this by clicking ‘Emergency’ on your phone’s lock screen…

… then tapping ‘Medical ID’…

… which shows the same information but without needing you to unlock your phone, which would defeat the purpose:

Phone calls to your emergency contacts can also be made from this screen simply by clicking on their name, so for international travellers we’d suggest including the country code, being +61 instead of the leading 0, allowing the call to complete both in Australia and when abroad.

Hopefully your Medical ID information will never need to be accessed, but should you wind up unconscious and requiring urgent medical attention to save your life, you’ll be glad you took the few minutes to set things up.

Also read: Using iPhone 'do not disturb' on your next business trip

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2011

Total posts 85

I've added "Do Not Resuscitate" to my medical notes - by the time they get to the stored record of my Advance Medical Directive they'll already have done that :(

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Happy belated 116th birthday Chris!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 54

Great tip

However if you are unconcious requiring medical attention chances are your phone would have been sold on the blackmarket twice before you are even loaded onto an ambulance

wilsoni Banned
wilsoni Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2011

Total posts 321

Is there an app for Android?


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