Apple is making the repository of medical information in your iPhone more useful in an emergency.

Apple’s upcoming iOS 13.5 update will include the ability for users to automatically share their “Medical ID” when they make an emergency call. If users enable the feature, their info would be automatically shared with 9-11 dispatchers, who would then share it with emergency responders if a service called “Enhanced Emergency Data” data is available in their area. 

The idea is that first responders would get information about you without you having to do anything. That could be helpful if, say, you have an allergy to a medication but are unresponsive and unable to give responders that information yourself.

A Medical ID is not an official hospital or military number, or anything like that. Anyone with an iPhone can create a Medical ID by tapping the profile icon in the upper right corner of the Health app, clicking Medical ID, and filling in details. A Medical ID includes a user’s date of birth, height, and weight, and lets users fill in other information, such as emergency contacts, blood type, medications, allergies, and organ donor status.

Your medical ID isn't much use if emergency responders can't access it.

Your medical ID isn’t much use if emergency responders can’t access it.

Image: Apple

Users can currently enable an option in Medical ID called “Show when locked.” That would make your Medical ID appear on your lock screen, which Apple says “gives information to people who want to help.” When you call 911, Apple will alert your emergency contacts and send them your location. 

UPDATE: May 6, 2020, 3:39 p.m. EDT This story was updated at 12:30 p.m. PT.

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