Medical ID (ICE) on iPhone

Do you have an ICE "in case of emergency." contact in your phone? In the old days we kept a piece of paper in our wallet or purse with important contacts and medical info. Now days we all have smart phones and many people use an ICE contact for that information.

Great, but what if your phone is locked with a passcode and you are unable to give that code to the person assisting you? May we suggest that you use Apple's Medical ID instead? 


iPhone with iOS 8 or higher

If you have an iPhone, can use Apple's Health app to create an Medical ID that is availble to anyone from your lock screen.

  1. Open the Health. It is installed by default on all iOS devices running iOS 8 or higher.
  2. Tap the Medical ID button in the bottom right.
  3. Tap Create Medical ID or edit if you already have one.
  4. Make sure the "Show When Locked" slider at the top of the screen is toggled on (green position). 
  5. Fill in all of the info that you wish to include ont he screen. REMEMBER, this info is available to anyone that has physical acces to your phone. So you want to only include what would be important in case of emergency, allergies, emergency contacts, etc...
  6. Make sure you assign at least one person as your emergency contact person. You must save that person's name and phone number in your Contacts app for the Health app to be able to include it.
  7. Tap "Done" to save.

Now let's test it to make sure it worked, and to make sure you know what to look for if you ever have to find someone else's ICE info.

  1. Lock your iPhone
  2. Wake it up but don't fully unlock it with the passcode or Touch ID.
  3. When you slide to get to the passcode screen, you should see Emergency at the top.
  4. Press it, and a new screen appears with a number keypad to dial, as well as Medical ID in the bottom left.
  5. Press Medical ID, and you'll see your information appear along with a phone icon that, when pressed, will automatically dial your ICE contact. 

Note that while you can find ICE apps in the App Store, they are not accessible from a locked phone! You should always lock your iPhone with a passcode or TouchID for security reasons, meaning these ICE apps are useless in a real emergency. Use the Apple Health app instead.

ICE Hack for Older iPhones that don't have the Health app.

  1. Open the Notes app.
  2. Type any ICE information you want to include. Make sure it all fits in one screen withouth scrolling.
  3. Take a screenshot of that note by pressing the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time.
  4. Assign this photo (screenshot) as your Lock Screen. Instructions
  5. Using this method, the emergency responder must actually dial the number on their own phone, but it is better than nothing.