For years, people have been using a technique with their mobile phones in case they were incapacitated and a rescuer needed to reach their emergency contact.



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Individuals would enter in their emergency contact under the name ICE. So if someone was found unconscious, this would be a way to call the go-to contact for the injured person.

As smartphones have become the norm, this trick works less and less due to the security we have to have on devices. Password protecting these devices has become a necessary step, but it means others can’t access your address book without your passcode. Oh, and if you think you can just use the unconscious person’s fingerprint to unlock their device, remember not everyone uses that feature. Luckily, Apple developed an easy way for others trying to help you find and call your ICE without having to unlock your iPhone.

It’s called Medical ID, and it’s a part of the Health app on your iPhone. It not only allows good samaritans or first responders to call your ICE without needing your passcode—but you can store important health information, like medical conditions, medications, allergies, blood type, and more. And you can have peace of mind knowing they won’t be able to access any other information on your device.

To locate Medical ID, open the Health app on your iPhone, then tap the Medical ID icon in the bottom, right of your display. Tap Edit, then enter your emergency contacts (you can enter multiple people) and health information. Then, turn on Show When Locked at the top of your screen, so your Medical ID can be viewed when your device is locked. Then tap Done.

To access it when your iPhone is locked, tap the Home button, then tap Emergency. Then, on the Emergency call screen, you can call an ICE or tap Medical ID to see emergency medical information.

I was teaching a class on iOS when this feature was added in iOS 9. And when I brought up Medical ID, an adult student in my class spoke up. She was a 911 operator and was thrilled to tell me emergency medical staff had already been told to look for this feature!

So set up your Medical ID now, and tell all your loved ones about it. Please have them fill it out immediately. You never know when it could be used to save your life.

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