Both iOS and Android feature powerful medical ID and emergency contact integration. With COVID-19 vaccine information being essential for travel and other things, it’s handy to have your vaccination status on your phone as well. We show you how to set this up on your phone, whether you’re an Apple or Android user. We’ve also gathered a few other handy tips to make the most out of your phone’s medical ID features.
How to Set Up Medical ID and Emergency Contacts on iOS
Setting up your medical info is easy on iOS.
- Open the Health app, then tap the “Summary” tab.
- Tap on your profile photo in the upper right of the screen, then tap “Medical ID.”
- If you’ve never set up Medical ID before, you’ll see a button labeled “Get Started.” Tap this to start setting up your Medical ID. If you’ve already set up your Medical ID, tap “Edit” in the upper-right corner.
- List your name, date of birth, and medical conditions. Scroll down and add your blood type, weight, height, and primary language.
- Scroll down a little further to can set up your emergency contact. Tap the “add emergency contact” button and a list of your iOS contacts will pop up. Select a person to contact in case of emergency.
- When you’re finished, you can repeat this process to add another emergency contact.
All the information here is optional. You don’t have to add anything to your medical ID that you aren’t comfortable with. Just remember to add any key information you want medical personnel to be aware of in case of an emergency.
How to Set Up Medical ID and Emergency Contacts on Android
Android doesn’t have the same Medical ID feature that iOS has, but it does have built-in ways to store your health information and emergency contact data. This will vary based on your phone’s manufacturer, so we are focusing on the stock Android features.
- Open the Settings app, then tap “About phone -> Emergency Information.” If your phone doesn’t have this here, try searching for “Users & Accounts -> Emergency information.”
- To enter your emergency information, tap “Edit information.” You may need to tap Info first. Depending on your phone’s age and manufacturer, you’ll be able to enter different information.
- For emergency contacts, tap “Add Contact.” If you don’t see this option, try “Contacts.”
- Either select a contact or create a new contact with the person’s information.
Adding COVID-19 Vaccine Information to Your Medical ID
If you have verifiable COVID-19 vaccine records, you can add them to your phone. This can help you get into events where vaccinations are required, for example.
If you have a QR code on your vaccination card or you were given a downloadable file, you’re ready to go. If your vaccination record doesn’t have either of these or the place requiring you to show it isn’t set up to read digital records, you’ll still need to carry it with you.
Add COVID-19 Vaccine Information on iPhone
With iOS 15.1 and up, it’s easy to add verifiable COVID-19 vaccination information to your phone in two ways. You can add the information to both the Health and Wallet apps.
For a QR code:
- Open the Camera app and make sure the rear-facing camera is selected.
- Position the QR code within the viewfinder, and after a moment, the camera will recognize the code and pop up a notification for the Health app.
- Tap the notification, then tap “Add to Wallet & Health.”
If you received a downloadable file instead of a card with a QR code, it’s even easier to add your COVID-19 vaccine information.
- Tap the download link, then “Add to Wallet & Health.”
- Tap done and the information will be safely stored in the Wallet and Health apps.
Add COVID-19 Vaccine Information on Android
To add COVID-19 vaccine info to Android, you’ll need to be running Android version 5 or higher, and your device will need to be Play Protect certified. The process is similar to the second method we looked at on the iPhone.
- Find the link to the downloadable file with your vaccination information, then tap the link.
- Click “Save to Phone” or a similar message to download it to your phone.
- If your device asks whether to save in Google Chrome or Google Pay, choose Google Pay, even if you don’t have the app installed. Then tap “Continue.”
- If you don’t already have a lock screen set, you may be prompted to set one up to display your information.
Making Everything Available on Your Lock Screen
One of the biggest reasons to add your medical information to your smartphone is so that anyone around will know key medical information should something happen to you. If your phone is locked, nobody around you can see anything except what you make available here, so it’s important to configure your phone to show your Medical ID and contacts on the lock screen.
Lock Screen Setup for iPhone
This process is simple on iOS, and you can even do it when first setting up your medical ID.
- Open the Health app, tap your profile photo, then Medical ID.
- You have two options under Emergency Access. The first one is to show your emergency medical information when the screen is locked. This should say “Enabled.” If it doesn’t, tap “Edit,” then scroll down and make sure to enable the slider next to “Show When Locked.”
- The second option is to share your Medical ID when you call emergency services. This is disabled by default, so enable the slider here if you want to share your Medical ID Info This would be helpful in circumstances, such as when you call 911.
Lock Screen Setup for Android
Setting up your lock screen on Android is simple, but it can vary depending on the manufacturer of your phone. Again, we are focusing on the stock Android experience, but the instructions may vary slightly for you.
For Google phones, you’ll find the settings in “Display -> Advanced -> Lock screen display -> Lock screen message.” On other devices, your lock screen may have its own section in Settings or be in a section like “Lockscreen, Launcher and Theme.”
Some phones will automatically integrate your COVID-19 vaccination information, but again, this will vary by manufacturer. On some phones, you may only be able to enter a message to display on the lock screen to help you find a lost phone or communicate key medical info.
How to Sign Up as an Organ Donor
In addition to other health information, you can also volunteer as an organ donor if you wish. These instructions are only for organ donors in the United States. Outside the U.S., you’ll need to look into your own local regulations around this.
Organ Donor Info on iPhone
On iOS, this is right in your Medical ID, along with your other information.
- Open the Health app, tap on your profile photo, then select “Medical ID.”
- Tap “Edit” in the upper right, then scroll down and tap “add organ donor” to reveal a few settings.
- If you do not wish to register as an organ donor, select “No.” Assuming you do want to become a donor, you have two options: select “Yes” or tap the other option to register with the Donate Life organization.
Organ Donor Info on Android
Unlike iOS, there is no built-in function for communicating your organ donation preferences. That doesn’t mean you; can’t let the right people know your organ donation status using your phone.
There are numerous apps available for Android. Two of the most popular are Body Organ Donation and Organ Donation App. Both of these apps are basically portals to organizations where you can sign up as a donor, similar to Apple’s “Donate Life” option for iPhone that is mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does using Medical ID mean that Apple can access my health data?
When setting up Medical ID on your iPhone, a prompt will ask if you want to share data with Apple. This information is anonymized, so the company cannot access your personal data directly. If you opt out of this, none of your information is shared.
2. Do I still need to carry my vaccination card with me?
If you don’t have vaccine information that was shared with you either by QR code or by downloadable file, you’ll definitely need to carry your card. Otherwise, your phone is probably fine for getting into concerts or using public transportation. For medical appointments or other more serious situations like a job interview or travel, you’ll probably want to have your card handy. Also note that not all organizations are set up to read QR codes, and in that case, you’ll need to carry your hard copy.
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