We plan ahead for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations, but how often do we plan ahead for emergencies? One might feel it’s impossible to plan ahead for an emergency since you never know when they’re going to happen. The Health app on your iPhone wants to help you plan ahead for an emergency situation by storing important information that may save your life while allowing emergency personnel to contact your loved ones.
Take five minutes out of your day to input information that could very possibly save your life. To do this, launch the Health app on your iPhone and tap the medical ID icon in the bottom righthand corner of the screen. If you haven’t entered this information before you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll read more information about this iOS 8 feature. If you’ve entered this information already, you’re directed right to your emergency contact information card where you can update any changes.
Those of you entering this information for the first time will need to select create medical ID to continue. On the next screen, decide whether or not you want this information accessible from the lock screen. If you turn this off, emergency personnel won’t be able to access this information unless you or someone you know has access to your lock code. If you don’t use a lock code on your iPhone, emergency personnel can access this information by opening the Health app and selecting the medical ID icon.
I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want this feature accessible from the lock screen since information you enter could possibly save your life. One could argue the downside is would-be iPhone thieves or sneaky friends have access to your birthdate and loved ones telephone numbers. Personally, I’d change my birthdate to a different date, but in the same year, if I was worried about identity theft should someone steal my iPhone. I believe it’s far more important for this information to be accessible when absolutely necessary than worry about information getting into the wrong hands.
Once you’ve completed entering all your information, select done in the upper right corner and you’re almost finished. Just because you know where this information is doesn’t mean loved ones do. It’s important for you to let them know how to access this information should they need to show it to emergency personnel. Your planning ahead just might start their search to discover a feature like this on their smartphone too. If they’re an iPhone user as well, try walking them through the process or send them here where they can read all about it.
Lastly, it’s important emergency personnel know a feature like this exists and they know how to access it. Share this article on your social media accounts to get the word out. When you share it, tag loved ones and now you don’t have to worry about explaining these steps to them; that’s what we’re here for.
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(This is the 2nd article in the writing from my iPad series)