iPhone now makes it easier to get emergency help. How to turn it on right now

A new feature in iOS 13.5 will automatically send your medical information to first responders. Here's how you set it up.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

The Medical ID button can make a big difference in an emergency. 

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In these uncertain times, your health is more important than ever. So it's timely that Apple's newest iPhone software update -- iOS 13.5 -- comes with a small, but potentially important feature. The update is available right now (go to Settings > General > Software update), and after installing it, you'll have the option to automatically send all of your Medical ID information to emergency responders if you ever need to call 911. 

If you've set up your emergency medical information, first responders will be able to immediately see any allergies or other treatments you may need in the scary event that you've suffered an accident and can't share that information yourself. Medical personnel can also use your Medical ID to find out how to contact your loved ones. 

Below we'll walk you through setting up your Medical ID on your iPhone, including where to find the option to share your medical information with first responders during an emergency call. 

Watch this: How to use emergency contacts for Android and iOS

Set up your Medical ID on iPhone

The iPhone has a Medical ID feature that first responders can access and use to help treat you. Your ID can include any medical conditions you may have, medication allergies and emergency contacts. 

Here are the steps to set up your Medical ID on an iPhone:

1. Open the Health app and your iPhone and tap on your profile photo in the top-right corner.

2. Select Medical ID under the Medical Details section, followed by Edit.

3. Fill out any information you want emergency responders to know, including adding your emergency contacts. 

4. Make sure Show when locked is turned on.

5. Turn on the option labeled Share During Emergency Call to allow your iPhone to share your Medical ID info when you call for help. 

6. Once you've filled out all of your information, as well as who should be contacted, tap Done.


Enter as much information as you can when creating your medical ID. 

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To view your Medical ID and see what it looks like, as well as practice how to access someone else's Medical ID, try to unlock your iPhone by swiping up on your screen. If you use Face ID, I recommend covering the True Depth camera at the top of your screen to prevent it from recognizing you and unlocking your phone. 

Once you're prompted to enter your passcode, tap on Emergency at the bottom of your screen followed by Medical ID. 

Now that you've set up your medical ID and emergency contacts, take a few minutes to learn all of the hidden iPhone features we could find, as well as every new feature Apple added in iOS 13. After that, make sure you tweak these settings to get the most out of your phone


The first time you open Apple Health after installing iOS 13.5, this is what you're greeted with. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET