How to Set Up & View a Medical ID On an iPhone

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Thanks to smartphones and modern technology, it’s easier than ever to stay on top of our health. From fitness trackers to digital medical records, it’s possible to keep all of our health and wellness needs at our fingertips, like putting your Medical ID on your iPhone. 

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For iPhone users, it’s even possible to create your own digital Medical ID. This is a secure, safe way to store your medical information, emergency contacts, and more on your phone. Emergency responders and loved ones can access this Medical ID in case of emergency, giving invaluable access to your information when it matters most. 

No matter your medical status or age, it’s important to be prepared for the future. Here’s how to set up and view a Medical ID on an iPhone. 

What Is an iPhone Medical ID?

What exactly is the Medical ID on the iPhone? This is a built-in feature located in the iPhone’s Health app. Your Health app is a default app installed with all iPhones. It comes complete with things like step counters, weight tracker, and even integration with other health and fitness apps. 

The Medical ID feature is specifically designed for easy access, giving first responders access to potentially life-saving information. For example, it’s a secure place to store any allergies you might have or medications you take. This is key information for emergency professionals, and you might not be able to speak for yourself in case of a crisis. 

Regardless of whether you suffer from any health conditions, it’s important to enable your Medical ID. This is so essential because it can be accessed even from your phone’s lock screen. No passcode or fingerprint needs to be used to unlock this data, ensuring it’s always available when you need it most. 

This becomes a part of someone's digital legacy. Knowing how to access this key information in an emergency can be life or death. Just as you might use a professional virtual memorial service like GatheringUs, you should also use your iPhone's best tech tools to save your life. 

What information is included in the iPhone Medical ID?

What specifically is included in the iPhone’s Medical ID feature? You can include as little or as much information as you’d like. Providing more information is the best way to ensure first responders have everything they need in case of emergency. 

Information collected on the Medical ID feature includes:

  • Your name
  • Medical conditions
  • Medications
  • Allergies and reactions
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Emergency contacts
  • Blood type
  • Organ donor status
  • Primary language

These are things that might seem minor, but they can really make the difference in an emergency. If you’re unable to speak for yourself, medical responders can easily access your emergency contacts, allergies, and so on to ensure you receive the fastest, best treatment. 

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How to View Someone Else’s Medical ID on Their iPhone

Unlike other health apps, the Medical ID on the iPhone is accessible without needing to unlock the phone. Since most people enable some type of security feature, whether it’s a fingerprint, passcode, or face recognition, having medical information easily accessible is important in an emergency. 

When you set emergency contacts in your Medical ID, they receive an automated message if you use Emergency SOS from your iPhone or Apple Watch. However, you can also view someone else’s Medical ID on their iPhone on the lock screen using the steps below. 

1. Enable the lock screen

As mentioned above, you don’t need to unlock the iPhone to access someone’s Medical ID. Your first step is to simply enable the lock screen to access the passcode or emergency feature. 

To do this, press the home button or the power button on the side of the device. The specific button will depend on the model of the iPhone. Some iPhones also enable the lock screen when they’re picked up. 

2. Tap Emergency

Once the lock screen is enabled, swipe up to access the passcode. This is where you will typically enter someone’s numerical password to access the phone. Instead of doing this, tap Emergency in the bottom left corner. 

From here, you’ll have access to the iPhone’s emergency call feature. If you choose to make a call, whether to 911 or another individual, the phone will automatically send a message to everyone in the Medical ID’s emergency contact list alerting them that this feature is being used. 

3. Tap Medical ID

Finally, tap Medical ID in the bottom left corner of the emergency call screen. The iPhone will reveal the full Medical ID profile including medical information, emergency contacts, and so on. 

From the Medical ID screen you can make calls directly by clicking on the emergency contact numbers. You can also go back by tapping done to return to the emergency call feature.

How to Set Up Your Medical ID on Your iPhone

Setting up your Medical ID on your phone is an important way to begin advance care planning for yourself. It’s easy to get started, so there’s no reason not to enable this feature on your own iPhone. Follow these steps below to ensure everything is set up properly. 

1. Open the Health app

To begin, open the Health app on your iPhone. The app is a red heart on a white background, and it should come with your iPhone. You might need to update to get the latest version of the Health app for your device. 

2. Tap on your profile picture or initials

To access your Medical ID, tap on your profile picture or initials. These should be at the top right after you open your iPhone’s Health app. If you don’t see your profile picture or initials, tap Summary or Browse at the bottom of the screen. Scroll back to the top to see your profile picture or initials. 

An alternative way to access your Medical ID is to return to the home screen and press down on your Health app. A dropdown box should appear with Medical ID as an option. 

3. Create or edit your Medical ID

From here, you’ll have the topics to create or edit your Medical ID. To create one for the first tip, tap “Get Started.” If you already have a Medical ID that you’d like to edit, click “Edit.” 

Now you’ll have access to the full list of medical information. Add anything that you’d like available to first responders in case of emergencies. While you don’t need to fill out everything, it’s a good idea to add any medications, conditions, and an emergency contact at a minimum. 

4. Enable sharing via the lockscreen

Make sure you enable lock screen visibility for your Medical ID. Otherwise, first responders won’t be able to access your Medical ID without unlocking your phone. 

To do this, scroll down to the bottom of the Medical ID edit page. You’ll see a toggle to enable “Show When Locked” and “Share During Emergency Call.” 

Show When Locked means first responders can access your information from the Emergency screen on the lockscreen. When you enable Share During Emergency Call, your Medical ID displays automatically when someone makes an emergency call on your device. 

5. Set reminders every six months

Last but not least, set reminders on your iPhone to ensure you update your Medical ID regularly. Updating your ID every three to six months is a good habit to get into. You’ll want to be sure to add any new medications, emergency contacts, and so on. 

The more accurate and up-to-date this information is, the better you’ll be in case of an emergency. This is also an important reminder to talk to friends and family about who you want to act as a health care proxy and emergency contacts.

Tips for Utilizing Medical ID on iPhone

Like all technology, there can be a learning curve with the iPhone’s Medical ID. This is especially true if you’re unfamiliar with iPhone’s Health app and how they track and manage this data on your device. 

Follow these tips to ensure you’re using the Medical ID to its fullest potential:

  • Talk to your emergency contacts: First, make sure you inform your emergency contacts that you’ve added them to your Medical ID. In case of emergency, you want them to know what to expect. 
  • Add ICE to your contacts: It’s common to add your emergency contact to your phone contact list under the name “ICE” (in case of emergency). For first responders not familiar with Medical ID, this is a good alternative. 
  • Practice often: While we never want to expect an emergency, practice is the best way to be prepared. Practice accessing your Medical ID when your phone is locked to ensure you can bring it up quickly. 
  • Inform others: Lastly, spread awareness about iPhone’s Medical ID and encourage your friends and family to create their own Medical IDs on their phones.

Prepare Your Device for an Emergency

It’s hard to know what’s around the corner, but we can take steps today to protect ourselves and our loved one. In an emergency situation, every second counts. If you’re unable to speak for yourself, the iPhone’s Medical ID feature can be a lifesaver. 

By providing first responders with your vital medical information in a quick and easy format, you ensure you get the best possible care. It’s understandable to be intimidated by taking these steps to protect your health and wellness. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and this is an easy step we can all take today to become more prepared.

If you're looking for more on emergency preparedness, read our guides on medical ID bracelets and what to bring in an evacuation.


Sources

  1. “Create and share your Medical ID in Health on iPhone.” Apple Support: iPhone User Guide. Support.Apple.com

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