When emergencies strike, it’s important to have important medical information close at hand. It’s one of those things you usually don’t think about until you have to, but not thinking or doing anything about it ahead of time can cause you serious trouble. One way to keep this information organized and easily accessible is to securely store it on your smartphone.
If you have an iPhone or an Android device, the following information should help you:
Apple has made organizing emergency information quite simple. To begin, open the Health app, which is part of the standard iPhone operating system. Next, follow these simple steps:
- Tap “Medical ID” in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
- Tap “Edit” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- Enter pertinent information.
There’s a lot of info you can list here, including any medical conditions, special notes, allergies, potential reactions/interactions, as well as any medication(s) you currently take. There are also fields for adding an emergency contact, blood type, weight, height, and whether or not you’re an organ donor.
At the top of screen, there’s an option to have this information available from the lock screen. If selected, your emergency information is just a swipe way from your iPhone’s lock screen.
This is useful should you have to visit the ER, but that’s not all. I recently had to have a prescription refilled and while at the pharmacy I couldn’t remember the medication’s name (nor could I pronounce it even if I had remembered it), so I simply opened this info on my phone and handed it to the pharmacist. “Wow,” he said. “I wish everybody did this.”
Storing emergency medical information is a little tricker on Android, but not impossible. There may be a field for this information among the phone’s contacts, but that depends on what version of Android you’re running. If it has an In Case of Emergency field in the contact’s app, be sure to fill in this information. But in addition to this, I suggest you download and use an app like ICE: In Case of Emergency. For $3.99, it lets you list:
- People to call in an emergency (and it can call them directly from the app)
- Insurance information
- Doctor names and numbers (again, it can call them directly from the app)
- Medical Conditions
- Any special instructions or other information you wish to provide
Both of these solutions can be a convenience in any medical situation, especially emergencies. More importantly, this simple bit of organization can greatly help a first-responder when you need help the most. Take some time this week to set it up.