A wearable allergy medical alert ID is an important way to let people know about your allergies in an emergency. You can read more on our post: Our pick of the latest Allergy Medical Alert IDs. But did you know that you can also share your allergy medical ID – and more details including who to contact in case of an emergency – on your smart phone? This emergency information can be accessed without a password even when your phone is locked.
In an emergency where situation, first responders will check your phone for an emergency contact or relevant medical conditions, including allergies. The first responder just might be you, so it is also important that you know how to access other people’s emergency medical ID.
Here are the instructions for how to set up emergency medical ID information on your lock screen for both iOS and Android phones. And how to access someone else’s information if you need to in an emergency.
Setting up Medical ID on an iPhone
Medical ID is simple to set up on an iPhone through the Health app. Here is a copy of mine (age changed and weight deleted to protect my vanity!).
- Open the Health app and tap “Summary”.
- Select your profile picture at the top right (if you haven’t uploaded a picture like me, it will look like this or just your initials).
- Select “Medical ID”, listed under the Medical Details heading.
- Tap “Edit” at the top right of the screen.
- In “Information” you can now you can enter your photo, date of birth, medical conditions, medical notes, medications and any allergies. You can also add other details like height and weight, blood type, language spoken etc.
- Under “Emergency Contacts” you can select the best person to contact in case of emergency from your phone contacts. (This links to their contact details in your contact list.) You can also add their relationship (for example, spouse). Add more emergency contacts or delete existing ones using the + and – buttons.
- The third heading “Emergency Access” has a slide button which you can turn on to make your Medical ID available from the Lock Screen on your phone, without needing a password.
- In some areas of the United States you can also share your Medical ID with emergency responders when you make a call or sent a text to emergency services. To do this you need to turn on “Share During Emergency Call”.
- When you have finished, tap Done.
Accessing Medical ID on an iPhone
The way to access Medical ID from a locked iPhone depends on the model, and whether it has a round “home” button at the bottom of the screen. iPhone 8 and later no longer have the home button, but use the side buttons to perform the same functions.
- For an iPhone with a home button, press the home button to show the passcode entry screen.
- With iPhone 8 or later without a home button, touch the screen or press the side button on the top right of the phone to wake the phone. Then swipe up from the bar at the bottom to show the passcode entry screen.
On the passcode entry “lock screen”, you will see “emergency” in the bottom right hand corner. Tapping on this will bring up the emergency dialling number pad with a Medical ID link at the bottom. Tapping Medical ID will show the phone owners emergency information and emergency contacts.
Making an emergency call
iPhones also have a quick Emergency SOS function which enables you to quickly make an emergency call and send a location message to all of the listed emergency contacts.
- For an iPhone with a home button, press the side or top button quickly 5 times in a row until an Emergency SOS slide button appears. Sliding this will send an Emergency SOS call.
- With iPhone 8 or later without a home button, press and hold the side button on the right together with the up or down volume button on the left to access the SOS slide button. You can also continue to hold down the buttons, which will sound an alert and start a countdown before making the Emergency SOS call.
The iPhone will them send a text message to the emergency contacts listed in the Medical ID after the emergency call ends.
Setting up Medical ID on an Android phone
The Android operating system is used on phones made by companies like HTC, Samsung, Sony, Motorola and LG.
Android phones have the ability to add emergency information to the lock screen. This can be any message you like, including medical or allergy alerts and emergency contact information.
Create your lock screen message by opening the Settings > Secutity & location. Next to “Screen Lock”, open “Settings” and then “Lock screen message”. Here you can enter the message you would like displayed on your locked screen. Tap save when you have finished.
Android also has a build-in emergency information function. To use this, open Settings > About phone > Emergency information. Again, you can enter any information you would like to share about medical conditions, including allergies. Tap on “Edit Information” to edit this section. (If you don’t see this, tap “Info”). You can also add emergency contacts here by tapping “Add contact”. (If you don’t see this, tap “Contact”).
You can also download a Medical ID app for your android phone. These apps perform many of the same functions as the iPhone Medical ID feature. Just search for “Medical ID’ or “ICE” on the Google Play Store.
Accessing Medical ID on an Android phone
If someone has a lock screen message saved, you will see this when you turn the phone on.
To access emergency information from the lock screen of an Android phone, simply swipe up and tap “Emergency” and then “Emergency information” when it flashes.
Using your lock screen picture on any device
An alternative way to include emergency contacts on the lock screen of most devices is to use a background wallpaper or photo for your lock screen which has a picture of your emergency contact phone number on it. Anyone who turns on your phone will be able to see this on the lock screen.
References and more information
For more information on setting up emergency medical ID and contact information, see the support page for your own phone make and model.
General information for iOS and Android can be found here:
- Apple Support – Set up your Medical ID in the Health app on your iPhone
- Android Support – Get help in an emergency using your android phone
Other ways to stay safe with allergies
Having your emergency medical ID accessible on your phone is a great idea. But don’t forget that if you have a serious allergy, you really should also be wearing an allergy medical alert ID bracelet or necklace too for quick identification in an emergency. See our pick of the latest allergy medical alert IDs for some of the great options available. And you can also hep first responders find your autoinjector with an EpiPen bag tag or key chain.