Wednesday 9 January 2019

The quick trick on your iPhone that could save your or your family's life in an emergency


Today celebrates the 30th Birthday of one of my supported charities (London's Air Ambulance).  Doing what needs to be done as quickly as possible makes all the difference in an emergency.  But did you know there is a trick on your iPhone that could support emergency services if something ever happened to you or your family?  It takes less than 5 minutes to set up, could save your life and is called Medical ID.

Grandma is a dentist and part of her annual training includes a first aid course.  I've been on loads myself but not for quite a few years.  This year she learnt this gem of information that could help save your or your family's lives in the case of an emergency.

A first responder is someone whose job means they could be the first person on the scene of an accident or emergency. It could be a member of the police force, a paramedic or someone from the local community who has been trained in first aid.  The first thing they all do is assess what's going on.   What's happened? Who needs help?  Can they get to the patient safely?

They ask the patient questions to try and figure out how best to help and how possibly to save their life.  But what if you can't answer?

Well, they could just check the Medical ID on your iPhone and get a quick breakdown of who you are and anything else they may need to know.  Are you allergic to penicillin?  Are you on blood thinners? Are you autistic or taking some kind of ADHD medication that could interact with other medications?  Well if you were my son, the answer to that last question would be yes.  But thanks to having his phone glued to his hand all time, any first responder could find this out.

iPhone lock screen

It's all thanks to this Medical ID.  It can be accessed by anyone holding your phone (so perhaps be careful about what you want to put on there).  While your phone is locked they simply access the 'Emergency' word from the passcode screen that you usually use to unlock your phone, and then they can see whatever information you wish to share via your red Medical ID.

This could include important info about blood types, conditions, allergies, or just an emergency contact so they can phone someone as soon as they can. You can even put in if you are an organ donor. It could include a piece of information that might save your life or alert the responders to something else such as ... I may have a non-verbal autistic child with me.

It's simple and quick to set up.  I did it in less than two minutes.  Here's how to do it.

1.  Look for the default app on your phone called 'Health' and click to open it.  It looks just like this.

App icon with white square and red heart

2. At the bottom of the screen click on the 'Medical ID' tab which is also show as a big astrick (*) and then click on the red bar that says 'Create Medical ID'.

iPhone screen

3. Fill in your details like you would if creating a new contact. I've included my first name, a photo of me (so they can be sure it's my phone), a note that says about the children I may have children with me, that I have no known allergies, my blood type and a few emergency contact numbers (shown off the screen). It is entirely up to you what you put in, so do what you are comfortable with anyone who picks up your phone knowing.  I created a separate contact with just my husband's first name for example, just in case.

My Medical ID

4.  When you've filled in all you wish, click done (top right) and you are finished.

Well done, you may have just saved your own life, or at very least you may help a situation go more smoothly.   It's so easy to do and we nearly always have our phone on us right?   Now go around your family and do it for them - you may just save their life too.

I'm proud to support London's Air Ambulance -  I hope we never need to use them, but they are there if we do.  Happy Birthday!


  1. This is important information to share! My husband goes on lots of bike rides and doesn't always have his phone so he also has had a little attachment made up for his watch that has his emergency contact person, me, his blood type and you can add allergies etc if you have any. It is a comfort to know he has it even though the thought of something happening scares me. Thanks for linking up with us for #ABloggingGoodTime

  2. this is a fantastic post I am absolutely sharing this. Thank you for writing this as it made me check my information and some of it was out of date xxx

  3. So many iPhone users don't even know this exists. Mine is fully fulled out and it's so important to do so. Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales.


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