Your iPhone could save your life in a medical emergency.

iPhone-graphicSome of you may know that Apple launched a new Health app called Medical ID. It was introduced last year as part of iOS 8. (This Health app is the icon with the little red heart.)

What does it do?

Medical ID allows you to store your medical history, emergency contacts and other vital health information in one place on your iPhone.

The upside:

If you were in an emergency situation and found unconscious, the Medical ID feature might provide life-saving information to a first responder, even if your phone is locked. Also, if you have a severe or life-threatening allergy, this app increases the chances that your condition will be diagnosed and treated quickly.

Equally important: you can list your current medicines, since some could possibly interact adversely with other medications an emergency physician might use to treat you.

Another benefit:

This option can also be a useful tool for parents to ensure that they are contacted right away if something happens to one of their children.

You can use the Medical Notes section to keep a record of other important information, including recent surgeries or other medical interventions, medical implants and previous hospitalizations. You can also indicate information about your advance directives (a living will or a healthcare proxy).

The downside:

While Apple separates your Medical ID information from other Health app data and doesn’t allow it to be shared with other apps that access HealthKit, anyone who has physical access to your iPhone can easily see it.

Not everyone has an iPhone and not all first responders, doctors, or good samaritans will know how to find your Medical ID. So it’s not a bad idea to also use other more traditional methods such as a bracelet or wallet card to alert first responders to any critical medical information.

And if you own another brand of smartphone, consider adding ICE contacts to your phone’s “favorites” list.

So you’ll need to weigh the risks and benefits of having this information easily accessible on your iPhone.

If you’d like to set up your Medical ID in iOS8, just follow the steps on this link.

 

swilliams

Wander through the creative department at any given moment, and that uproarious laughter you’ll hear is probably coming from Suzanne’s office. She’s our in-house therapist and comedienne, calming our nerves with a daily dose of humor.

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