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In Case of Emergency.

Remember in the olden days when you used to stick “ICE” onto names in your phone’s addressbook to denote an emergency contact? I’ve no clue if the emergency services ever made use of that information, but it was a well-meaning idea that took hold at some point1. Certainly, my wife still has me down as “ICE Mark” in her mobile. Only, in the age of smartphones, that’s no use now is it? She has an iPhone that (correctly) will more than likely be locked should she not be in a position to provide emergency contact details herself.

Clearly the ICE system needs revising for the modern, secure mobile. Fortunately, Apple’s iOS already has a solution to this: Medical ID.

Introduced in 2014 with the Health app in iOS 8, Medical ID allows the iPhone owner’s medical information – including emergency contact details – to be displayed on an otherwise locked device with just a few taps. Perfect.

I won’t bother repeating the details of how to set it up when good guides already exist, just make sure you take 5 minutes to follow those instructions. And then spread the word. After all, if you didn’t know about Medical ID, chances are your friends and family don’t either.