Introduced in iOS 8, the Health app lets connected devices store your health information securely and privately, only sharing with apps you choose. However, there was a new feature introduced with the Health app that didn't get too much publicity, and that's the Medical ID aspect. With Medical ID, you can assign important data—such as medical conditions, allergy information, and emergency contact numbers—so that it's accessible from the lock screen.
Let's take a look at the process of setting up your Medical ID and how to access your Medical ID (or someone else's in an emergency) right from the lock screen on your iPhone.
This is definitely a feature that every iOS user should set up in case of an emergency.
Setting up your Medical ID
Setting up your Medical ID on the iPhone is extremely simple. To do this, you'll need a device with iOS 8 or higher, and then perform the following steps:
- Open the Health app
- Tap the Medical ID tab in the tab bar
- Tap the Edit button to begin editing your Medical ID card
- List any pertinent information about yourself, including medical conditions, allergies and reactions, and medications
- Ensure that "Show When Locked" is enabled (Figure A)
- Tap Done
Ensure that "Show When Locked" is enabled for this to work properly.
Accessing the Medical ID from the lock screen
Now that your information has been saved in your Medical ID, you can easily access it—or the Medical ID of other's during an emergency—right from the iOS lock screen.
Follow these steps to view your Medical ID from the lock screen:
- Press the Sleep/Wake button
- Swipe left to right to view the lock screen keypad
- Tap "Emergency" and then "Medical ID" (Figure B)
This will show your Medical ID just as it's viewed in iOS 8's Health app, complete with one-tap access to emergency contacts, all without having to unlock your device.
Medical first-responders will be able to access your critical medical information and emergency contacts without the hassle of trying to unlock your iPhone.
This is a great feature, simply because your information is all there for first-responders in an emergency situation where you may be unconscious or unable to provide this information.
What other critical apps do you use on your iPhone? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
- Health and home to headline software announcements at WWDC, business impact to be more subtle
- Wearables and patient-centric startups evolve in health data ecosystem
- Apple expanding the iOS ecosystem: HealthKit, subscription TV service, and streaming music
- New medical app provides Star Trek tricorder-like service
Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.