How to Fill your Emergency Information on your iPhone

Overview

In this article, I cover the super-easy way to fill out your emergency information on your iPhone.

Why should you do this? The smartphone has become the device that can do the functionality of many other devices including the medical ID bracelet.

Note: These instructions are for iOS 9, but they should apply to later versions of the iPhone’s operating system.

Photo credit: https://www.medicalert.org/importance-of-medical-ids

Overview

It began with a PSA on the Security Now podcast

The importance of this issue came up on my radar through episode 578 of the Security Now podcast. Steve’s PSA announcement caught my attention especially when I realized that I completely ignored the importance of the emergency contact information in iOS’s Health app.

It began with a PSA on the Security Now podcast

The nitty gritty of how to quickly set the emergency contact information

1. Search for the ‘Health’ app on your iPhone

Go to the search prompt by either swiping from left to right until you get to the screen shown below or swipe downwards from any screen. Then open the Health app.

Search for the 'Health' app on your iPhone

2. Select the “Medical ID” (1) menu at the bottom and then select ‘Edit’ (2)

Select the "Medical ID" (1) menu at the bottom and then select 'Edit' (2)

3. Add whatever medical information you are comfortable with

Keep in mind that this emergency information can be seen by anyone that has physical possession of your phone without the to unlock it. Whether it’s an emergency responder, a nosey co-worker, or a thief – this information will be visible to anyone that can touch your iPhone.

Note: Even if you feel uncomfortable with putting any personal information at all you should at least put 2 emergency contacts.

Add whatever medical information you are comfortable with

4. Add contacts, blood type, etc…

The contacts are pulled from your iPhone’s Contacts app, so it’s a simple selection process.

Add contacts, blood type, etc...

5. Testing how the emergency information

Now you are going to see how your emergency information looks to a first responder (or your nosey co-worker or a thief).

Activate the lock screen on your phone. The easiest way is to press the on/off button. Then select the ‘Emergency’ word at the bottom of the screen.

Testing how the emergency information

6. Now select “Medical ID”

Now select "Medical ID"

7. Now you can see the medical ID information that emergency personnel would see

Now you exactly see what a first responder (or your nosey co-worker or a thief) would see. Notice that your phone can be used to call your emergency contacts immediately.

Questions to consider:

  • Are you comfortable with the displayed information?
  • If you are not comfortable with this info, then what is the minimum information that you could put here which would still help you or your loved one in an emergency? (think serious emergency where you or your loved one is unconscious)

Now you can see the medical ID information that emergency personnel would see

Conclusion

While you have to weigh the privacy options of posting your stats and medical information – it’s important to be deliberate and to have basic information on your iPhone as well as your loved one’s iPhone. You don’t want to be going through the “I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve dance” during or after an emergency.

If you found this post useful let me know via Twitter (@eli4d) or Snapchat (eli4dcom). Note that I’m experimenting with snapchat.

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