iOS 8: Setting Up Your Medical ID

If you’ve got a recent model of iPhone (4s or later) or iPod touch (fifth generation) and have installed iOS 8, you’ve now got the ability to configure what’s called a Medical ID. The great thing about this is that doing so will give emergency responders access to your important health info without them having to unlock your device. For those of you who have critical medical needs, this is especially important, so let’s go check it out!

To set yours up, first visit the Health app.

When that’s open, touch the “Medical ID” tab at the bottom-right of your screen, and then tap “Create Medical ID.”

On the subsequent screen, you can add in any data that you think would be relevant for emergency care—allergies, say, or medications you take. Be sure to select an emergency contact or two! Also, you’ll want to leave on the “Show When Locked” slider at the top; if you don’t, you’ll have to be well enough to unlock your phone to allow others access to your info.

After you’re finished, touch “Done.” Now that you’re all set up, take a look at how an emergency worker would get to your Medical ID. When you slide to unlock your iPhone, there’s an “Emergency” option at the bottom:

After touching “Emergency,” you’ll see “Medical ID” on the next screen. Tapping that will reveal all of the information you just entered.

I think this is a great idea on Apple’s part, and I hope that emergency personnel start checking for these when they respond to calls. Here’s hoping you never need your Medical IDs, dear readers, but it’s nice to know that this feature is available in a crisis, isn’t it?