How to set up your Medical ID on an iPhone

With iOS 8, you can have important medical details stored on your iPhone lock screen in case of an emergency. Cory Bohon shows you how to use this built-in feature.

Medical ID

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:

  1. Open the Health app
  2. Tap the Medical ID tab in the tab bar
  3. Tap the Edit button to begin editing your Medical ID card
  4. List any pertinent information about yourself, including medical conditions, allergies and reactions, and medications
  5. Ensure that "Show When Locked" is enabled (Figure A)
  6. Tap Done

Figure A

Figure A
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:

  1. Press the Sleep/Wake button
  2. Swipe left to right to view the lock screen keypad
  3. 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.

Figure B

Figure B
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.

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