Emergency Communications: Set Up iPhone to Allow Access to Medical Info, Emergency Contacts

Last weekend, my wife’s nephew was in a terrible car accident. He’s slowly recovering, and we’re hopeful that he’ll make a full recovery in time, but it’s going to be a long process. My message here is about communications. After his accident it took some time – more than it should have – for hospital staff to reach his parents. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. The reason? His iPhone was locked .

When cellphones became popular, owners were advised to add an “in case of emergency” (ICE) contact so that police or EMTs would know who to notify in case of accident or sudden hospitalization. All well and good for those old block phones or flip phones.

But when we “evolved” to smartphones we added passwords … and even better, thumb print security, and we made it impossible for emergency workers to get to that ICE info.

But Apple has a great function that I want to make sure everyone knows how to use.  It gives access to emergency contact info and important health information without needing to have the phone’s password.

Here’s how you set it up:

Fihealth app heartrst, find the Health app on your iPhone. It’s marked with a big red heart.



Open it and you’ll see this screen pop up.  Look for the “Medical ID” text in
the bottom right corner. Click on that.



medical alert










When you click on that, you’ll be prompted to create a Medical ID and then you’ll see a screen that will allow you to input the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Emergency Contact(s): Spouse, Parent, Partner, etc. (Name and Cellphone)
  • Medical Conditions
  • Medical Notes
  • Allergies & Reactions
  • Medications
  • Blood Type
  • Organ Donor: Yes or No
  • Weight
  • Height


Enter all that info and click “Done.” Now you’ll see on your lock screen some text that says “Emergency.” Touch that and you’ll see that you’ve now give emergency personnel, rescuers or good samaritans the option to click on “Medical ID” in the bottom left hand corner or to make an Emergency Call.

Set it up on your phone tonight. Set it up on your spouse/partner’s phone. Set it up on your kids’ phones. Do it tonight. What do you have to do that’s more important?

Side Note (since people have asked): we didn’t find a similar feature for Android phones. There are multiple apps, but not all of them work on the lock screen. One workaround is to put your emergency info into a note, take a photo of it, and use it as your lock screen image.



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