What The Tech?: Emergency ID

CHARLOTTE – With spring and summer here you might be outside more and around people at sporting events and concerts. What would you do if you see someone who needs medical care? You don’t know them. They’re unresponsive and they’re alone.

A little-known feature on most smartphones can save someone’s life.

Here’s the scenario: you come across someone who needs emergency medical attention. You can call 9-1-1 from your phone. It’s best though if you use their phone. But what if their phone is locked behind Face ID or a passcode? or use their phone to call for help and contact their family and friends. Even if their phone is locked. You can do this on an iPhone or Android device.

If they have an iPhone, just swipe up. Even if their phone is locked, you’ll see “emergency” at the bottom of the screen. It even displays the word “emergency” in multiple languages. Tap it to open a phone keypad. You won’t be able to call anyone else but you can dial 9-1-1.

After calling 9-1-1, swipe up again and tap emergency. You’ll see “medical ID” at the bottom of the screen. Tapping it should show the person’s name, any medications they take, and their emergency contacts. From here you CAN send a message to their emergency contacts and let them know what’s going on. It’s a life-saving feature on every iPhone.

It’s also a good way to locate the owner of a lost phone.

If they’re wearing an Apple Watch it’s probably unlocked. Even if it isn’t press and hold the bottom button. Swipe to make an SOS call which dials 9-1-1 and sends a message to their emergency contacts saying you’ve called for help and shows your precise location.

This works if they’ve set up Emergency contacts. If you haven’t done this, you should.

Open the Health app on an iPhone and tap your picture at the top right. Fill in as much as you think is necessary, especially any medication information that would be important in an emergency such as blood thinners and medicine that affects your heart rate.

Add your emergency contacts and phone numbers. Make sure “Show when locked” and “Share during emergency call” is turned on.

On Android devices, swipe up on the screen. Tap Emergency Call to see their name, call 9-1-1 and view their medical information and emergency contacts. Android phone owners should enter that information. be aware this could be different depending on which Android device you have.

If you have an old phone sitting around the house, it’s a good way to make sure any young kids can call for help. Teach them how. Even if the phone isn’t active and connected to a phone plan, it’ll still call 9-1-1 for help. It’s an important way to keep you and your kids safe.