If you were in an accident, and knocked unconscious, would the doctors working to save you know how to get in touch with your loved ones?
Would they know your blood type… or allergies to medication?
Back in the day, we’d simply write emergency contact information, and important medical notes, on a slip of paper and stick it in our wallets.
But today, wallets are not the first place doctors and other healthcare providers will look in case you’re in an accident or have a medical emergency.
Instead, they head straight to your phone.
Our cell phones have become the keeper of this lifesaving information.
Which is why when Karen and I first got our smartphones, she pressed me — some might even say nagged me — to get mine set up with my medical information.
Because an accident can happen at any time.
iPhones come equipped with an emergency contact and medical history feature, called Medical ID.
This nifty tool allows anyone who comes into contact with your phone when you’re unresponsive… a doctor, nurse, EMT…. to quickly learn your basic medical history, as well as your preferred emergency contact, within seconds.
Now for my iPhone, setting this up was a breeze.
I just went to the “Health” app that came with the phone and followed the prompt to Medical ID.
There’s a place where you can enter current medical conditions, what medications your taking, any allergies you have, your blood type, and your emergency contacts.
One thing that’s absolutely critical to setting this up is making sure the “Show When Locked” button is pushed to “on.”
This allows emergency personnel access to your important health information, without knowing your phone’s passcode.
Don’t worry… you’re not giving them access to anything truly personal like your social security number.
If you have an Android phone, there’s an app called QuickICE that works similarly to “Medical ID.”
Just be sure to follow the prompts to add the app to your Android’s lock screen.
Now, if your cell phone isn’t of the “smart” variety, you can still help medical personnel out by creating an “ICE” (in case of emergency) contact in your phone.
This ICE contact is pretty useless for smartphones since most phones have a lock code or password. Unless someone has that code, no one could get to it.
But for a general cell phone, it’s darn handy.
Making your cell phone emergency-ready just takes a few minutes of your time.
But it will give you (and your loved ones) peace of mind… and could provide lifesaving information to emergency personnel should the unthinkable happen.
Now, that’s definitely a good reason for a few minutes of your time.