Have you given any thought to how emergency medical care providers know who to contact or what to do if you are in an accident? Some people wear wristbands that contain important health information, such as drug allergies. We also work with our clients to make sure their Health Care Powers of Attorney are registered with the state’s database so they can be reached, and we provide wallet cards that indicate this. But there’s an additional tool located in something many of us already carry every day—our iPhones.
The Health App
The iPhone, manufactured by Apple Inc., comes with a free Health app which allows users to track details of their health. From the Health Dashboard, a user can track daily steps, weight, and heart rate. Even nutrition and sleep patterns may be managed using the app.
But setting aside all that fancy stuff, Health is a great app for ensuring medical personnel, such as of emergency room staff and paramedics, have critical information for both treatment and contact purposes.
Users can create an “emergency card” that others can access directly from the lock screen. Even if a passcode is required to unlock the phone, the emergency card can be accessed simply by pressing the Emergency button on the lock screen. Users can choose the information that is displayed, and the information input into the emergency card is not shared with other apps.
If you have a medical condition or allergies to specific medicines, this is a wonderful place to store that information.
How to Get Started
Click the icon that looks like a white square containing a red heart. Then select the Medical ID button on the lower right. Any existing Medical ID card should open. Click the “Edit” button in the upper right hand of the screen and input information you want to be available from your “Lock” screen, such as the following:
- Birth date;
- Medical conditions;
- Medical notes;
- Allergies and reactions;
- Blood type;
- Organ donor information;
- Height and weight; and
- Emergency contact information.
With the Health app, you can arm your emergency health care providers with critical information, potentially saving your life and ensuring your loved ones are contacted in the event of an emergency. You can put as much or as little in this app as you feel comfortable inputting. At the very least, I’d recommend inputting your emergency contacts that you’ve designated as your Health Care Power of Attorney so there is an additional form of contact pointing authorities or medical personnel in their direction. If you have kids with phones, put your info in as their emergency contacts.
This article is a service of Amie Mendoza, Family Business Lawyer, who develops trusting relationships with families for life. If you’re ready to begin planning what you’d like to happen in case of unfortunate emergency, or even your death, schedule a Family Life & Legacy Planning Session today. We can help you make plans for how you want to provide for your loved ones when you can’t be there. Normally, a Family Life & Legacy Planning Session is $750, but when you mention this article and are one of the first three families to book an appointment this month, we’ll waive that fee for you.