Apple has more or less created and naturally cornered a market that combines mobile technology with health and medical services. Going beyond the Apple Watch and its life-saving features, the company has been integrating medical information in both iOS and watchOS. This integration goes a long way in saving lives when the user himself or herself becomes too unresponsive to give first responders critical details. An upcoming feature will even send that data to medical personnel to advise them even before they reach you.
Apple implemented its Medical ID feature quite a while back, giving iPhone users a space to fill in important medical data, including allergies. blood type, medication, and known medical conditions. Last year, it pushed out a feature that would allow first responders to access that information from a user’s lock screen even without a passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID. In iOS 13.5, that data sharing will be a bit more proactive.
If users opt-in to this new functionality, their Medical ID will be automatically be sent to first responders when they activate the iPhone’s or Apple Watch’s Emergency SOS feature. This feature would ensure that first responders will have the information they need to make quick decisions even before they get to the location of an emergency. It’s also extremely useful should the user be unresponsive or unable to communicate during that emergency.
It’s not a blanket feature though as it requires that the user is in an area where Enhanced Emergency Data services are supported. The feature uses the same channels that the pre-existing Emergency SOS feature does, promising the same amount of privacy with very sensitive medical data.
This new feature comes at an opportune time at the height of the COVID-19 crisis. Although most cases are not as sudden as, say, accidents, having the user’s medical information at hand in any scenario is extremely useful, especially when a few seconds saved can mean life or death for the patient.