Organize emergency medical info on your phone

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:

iPhone

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:

  1. Tap “Medical ID” in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Tap “Edit” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. 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.”

On Andriod

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:

  1. People to call in an emergency (and it can call them directly from the app)
  2. Insurance information
  3. Doctor names and numbers (again, it can call them directly from the app)
  4. Allergies
  5. Medical Conditions
  6. Medications
  7. 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.

8 Comments for “Organize emergency medical info on your phone”

  1. posted by Darrell on

    I would be weary of the privacy policies of the ICE app.

  2. posted by Pat Reble on

    I also recommend Medic Alert which not only allows medical professionals access to important medical data but also allows access to instructions re donations of body parts and/or Do Not Resuscitate orders plus next of kin, GP etc etc

  3. posted by infmom on

    Just get a Medic Alert tag. It contains a phone number where people can access all the necessary information and goes everywhere with you. No need to risk someone getting into your phone. There are lots of emblems to choose from, the subscription price is reasonable and you don’t have to worry about changing technology.

  4. posted by Pat Reble on

    The other advantages of Medic Alert are that medical professionals are trained to look for the bracelets, and there are no issues trying to get into locked phones in an emergence. Phones are great for your own use, but no good for other people!

  5. posted by Horatio on

    If the phone is locked, how does anyone who doesn’t know the code access the info?

  6. posted by Mark Harrison on

    Horatio,

    There’s an option in the Apple Health app to make that info available on the lock screen without the code.

    If this is enabled, clicking the “Emergency” button at the bottom of the “unlock keypad” screen will give the option of either calling emergency services, or showing the health info.

    PS – “Adriod” is probably not the spelling the article intended in the second subheading 🙂

  7. posted by TootsNYC on

    You wrote: “Tap “Medical ID” in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.”

    I don’t have “Medical ID” anywhere in my Health app. And I’m completely updated.

    So yeah, this seems reasonable, but it’s not working for me.

  8. posted by TootsNYC on

    And in doing more digging, I’ve discovered that it’s because I have an iPod Touch, which doesn’t use this feature.

    My plan is to do what my niece did: She created an image w/ her pic, and contact info, etc., and loaded it onto her phone. She made it her lock screen, so that if she lost her phone, it would be easier to return it to her.
    Such an image could have anything on it you wanted–pictures, text–at any size you wanted. So you could put several contact numbers in 12pt type, any emergency medical info people should know, etc.

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