If you’re an avid traveler and you own an iPhone, take note: There’s a little-known feature on your smartphone’s built-in Health App that might just save your life.
Available on iPhones with iOS8 or later operating system, the Medical ID feature allows you to display important medical information and emergency contacts on your phone without it being unlocked. This feature is especially important when you travel, and in particular if you’re traveling alone or have a medical issue or serious allergy.
Within the Health app, you can enter information like your name, age, birthday, blood type, allergies, medical conditions, medical notes, current medication, height, and weight; you can also specify whether you’re an organ donor, as well as provide the name your doctor and any other emergency contacts.
You can enter as little or as much information as you want (although if you’ve found yourself in an emergency situation alone, you’ll probably default to “the more the better”).
All of this information can be entered via the Health app.
To access the Medical ID feature in the event of an emergency, select “Emergency Call” on the unlock screen and find “Medical ID” in the bottom left hand corner. (Yes, this means that anyone who has your phone can find out your full name, birthday, and other personal information; you can turn this feature on and off by toggling the “Show When Locked” option in the Medical ID edit screen.)
I always keep this feature on while traveling. If my phone were to be lost or stolen, I can remove my personal information from the Health app by erasing it via the “Find My iPhone” feature.
The Medical ID feature gives me peace of mind that if I were ever in an emergency situation while traveling, I’d know that first responders would be able to access my basic (yet important) medical information.