Have you ever wondered how you would find out if someone close to you was in an accident, or had a medical emergency? Because most of us put a password and/or fingerprint lock on our smartphones (highly recommended for privacy protection), good Samaritans and first responders would not be able to access our contact numbers or other relevant information in a crisis situation. Kind of scary, right?
The good news is that there’s a simple solution in the form of “In Case of Emergency” apps (also known as ICE), which will allow the smartphone to provide contact and emergency medical information to anyone who knows how to access it.
The iPhone provides the Health App, standard on all iPhones beginning with iOS 8. Look for the red heart on a white background and the word Health. To add your emergency contacts, tap the Edit button in the right hand corner and scroll down the page. You will be diverted to the Contacts page – so make sure to input and/or update your contact information first. Back on the Health App, you can also input your blood type, organ donor status, weight, height and any allergies, medications or medical conditions.
Should the need arise, accessing ICE information from the Health app without a password is easy. Look on the lock screen and you’ll see the word Emergency in the lower left corner. This button opens up the number pad (which also lets anyone make an emergency phone call, by the way). In the lower left corner again, tap the red Medical ID button. All the emergency contacts can be seen and called from this screen. You will be able to see any medical information that has been provided as well.
Android users will use the aptly named ICE group which allows you to list multiple contacts for emergencies. Add people to your ICE group by tapping the orange Contacts app, then the Groups icon next to the search box. You’ll see a list of groups to which you can assign your contacts. Tap ICE then the plus sign and either Create Contact or Add Existing Contact. The ICE group contacts are now available on the Emergency Call function when the phone is locked.
Trusted Technologies highly recommends that everyone with a smartphone take advantage of this important tool for recording our critical information AND knowing how to access the app in case we end find ourselves assisting in an emergency situation.
Of course, you should be aware that anyone with this knowledge and a few seconds alone with your phone will be able to access the emergency contact information, so keep your phone close if you feel that your medical status needs protecting.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your phone, your spouse and your kids – and get started keeping everyone in your family a little safer.