Veronica With Four Eyes

How To Store Emergency Medical Information For Android and iOS

I live with a disability and chronic illness along with multiple allergies, so being able to quickly locate and provide medical information to medical staff or first responders is very important to me when I am receiving medical care. One of my favorite tools for storing emergency medical information is the Medical ID feature that is built-in to many Android and iOS devices, and today I will be sharing how to store medical information for Android and iOS that can be accessed from the device’s lock screen without having to unlock the phone.

Fields that can be filled out

The following fields can be filled out for Android or iOS medical emergency information and are all text fields unless otherwise noted:

  • Blood type (selected from a list)
  • Allergies
  • Medications
  • Address
  • Medical notes
  • Emergency contact/contacts (selected from contact list)

For the allergies list, it is recommended that people write out their allergy and reaction. On my allergy list, I indicate which items I carry an EpiPen for and divide my allergy section by food allergies, medication allergies, and intolerances. Since I have a food allergy that is also a common inactive ingredient in medication, I list it in both the food allergy and medication allergy section.

What I write in the “medical notes” section

As I mentioned before, I have a disability and chronic illness and have also had multiple surgeries, so I typed out a summary of my health information and copy/pasted it into the Medical Notes section for easier editing. I kept this information as a hyphenated list for ease of reference instead of using longer summaries like a medical history.

Examples of information I have in my medical notes include:

  • Summary of my vision loss. The exact text I wrote says “Low vision/legally blind and uses a blindness cane, with baseline double/blurry vision and eyes that turn inward. Wears tinted glasses for light sensitivity, no usable vision if not wearing glasses. Cannot read small print or see more than 5 feet straight ahead.”
  • Surgical history. I have the names of procedures along with dates and any other important details, i.e if there was a graft involved or if an implant is MRI safe
  • List of diagnoses for chronic illnesses and other medical conditions that can impact medical care or other tests- for example, I have baseline uneven sensation on my left and right side.
  • A note that says I am sensitive to bright, flashing, and strobe lights with a request to avoid being moved towards flashing ambulance lights when possible.

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A note on the address field for college students

When I lived on a college campus, I included both my dorm address and my home address for the address field and had each address labeled accordingly. For the dorm address, I included my room number, building name, college name, and the city/state/zip code. Since this is a text field, I didn’t have to apply any other special formatting.

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Adding emergency contacts

An unlimited number of emergency contacts can be chosen to be listed underneath the medical information field- I have phone numbers for family members as well as the phone number for my primary care doctor. They are displayed in order of when they were selected in the contacts list, not alphabetically. Mobile/home/work numbers are considered separate entries, so the cell phone number and home number for my mom are considered two separate contacts.

How to add medical info to your phone

To add medical information to Android:

  1. Open the Settings menu
  2. Go to the Safety and Emergency section
  3. Select Medical Information
  4. Enter health information like your date of birth, allergies, and blood type.
  5. To make your Medical ID available from the Lock screen on your iPhone, turn on Allow Access to Emergency Info

Emergency contacts can be added in the Emergency Contacts section of the Safety and Emergency settings menu

To add medical information to iPhone:

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Summary tab.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner.
  3. Under your profile picture, tap Medical ID.
  4. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner.
  5. To make your Medical ID available from the Lock screen on your iPhone, turn on Show When Locked. To share your Medical ID with emergency responders, turn on Share During Emergency Call.
  6. Enter health information like your date of birth, allergies, and blood type.
  7. Tap Done.

Emergency contacts can be added in the Medical ID menu of the Health app.

How to display medical/emergency information without unlocking phone

In order to see medical information on the phone without unlocking it, follow these instructions:

  1. Swipe up to show the PIN/unlock screen
  2. Tap the button that says “emergency”
  3. Tap the “View emergency information” or “View Medical ID” button
  4. Medical information is now displayed
  5. To exit, tap any button on the bottom of the screen. The phone cannot be unlocked this way, and calling an emergency contact will not unlock the phone

How to display medical information with unlocked phone

To display medical information with an unlocked phone:

  1. Hold down the power key
  2. Select the “Emergency” option
  3. Tap the phrase “View Emergency Info” or “View Medical ID”
  4. Medical information is now displayed
  5. To exit, tap any button on the bottom of the screen. The phone will remain unlocked

This feature is helpful when filling out paperwork in an emergency room or for showing an updated medication list or allergy list at a doctor’s appointment.

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Other tips for how to store medical information on Android and iOS phones

  • Make sure to include the dosage of medication in the medication list, as well as any medication that is administered via implant or patch
  • EpiPens should also be included in medication lists- I also note that I carry my EpiPen in an olive green purse so that it can easily be located
  • Some smartphones may share emergency medical information with 911 or first responders if a call is placed from the device
  • Emergency medical information applications are not a substitute for medical alert bracelets, though can be a helpful tool in addition to them
  • I once scared my mom when filling out emergency medical information on my Android phone by sending her an email with no context asking what my blood type is. For people who aren’t sure, I recommend calling or at least telling the person they are asking that they are okay and do not actively need blood.

How To Store Emergency Medical Information For Android and iOS. Tips for how to store emergency medical information on smartphones- a must have skill for college students