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The benefits of Medical ID

By Dermot - 03rd May 2016 | 7 views

Anyone who has spent time working in an emergency department will acknowledge that treating an unconscious patient is stressful at the best of times but treating such a patient without knowledge of their medical background, medications, or allergies makes the situation even more trying.

In such situations scattered pieces of information are sometimes gleaned from a family member or friend. Oftentimes, however, healthcare professionals are forced to work in the dark, weighing up the risks and benefits of commencing treatment and administering medications without full knowledge of the patient’s allergies or past medical history.

In such scenarios access to a complete list of medical conditions, medications, and drug allergies would transform the situation and minimise risk for the patient.

iPhones running at least iOS 8 allow first responders and emergency healthcare professionals to quickly access such data through an inbuilt app called Medical ID.

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your own Medical ID and details of how to access a patient’s information in an emergency.

<h3 class=”subheadMIstyles”>How to input your medical details</h3>

To get started launch the Health app, tap the medical ID icon at the bottom right of the screen and choose <strong>Create Medical ID</strong>. Here you can insert or update your name, photo, date of birth, list of medical conditions, allergies, and medications. Fields are available to enter detailed medical notes such as a short summary of previous surgeries or medical conditions. Another important feature is the ability to enter multiple emergency contacts, which can then be dialled directly from the phone. The Medical ID also allows users to enter their height, weight, and blood type. Another welcome feature is the ability to enter your organ donor preference. When finished adding information just tap <strong>Done</strong> at the top of the screen to save your changes.

After this information has been entered you can always return to edit it at a later stage or if you change your mind about having it available it can always be deleted by tapping on <strong>Delete Medical ID</strong> at the bottom of the editing page.

<h3 class=”subheadMIstyles”>How to access the iPhone Medical ID</h3>

Accessing the data is straightforward. First open the lock screen on your iPhone where you usually enter your security code. Tap <strong>Emergency</strong> in the bottom left hand corner of this lock screen. This allows those without your security code to make an emergency phone call. Then tap <strong>Medical ID</strong>, which will bring up a screen showing the details that you previously entered.

<h3 class=”subheadMIstyles”>Privacy issues</h3>

Will this function allow your inquisitive co-worker to snoop through your sensitive medical data? Unfortunately, yes. The concept behind the Medical ID is to allow quick and easy access to healthcare professionals in the event of an emergency. Those with less honourable intent will have similar unfettered access to your medical information.

However, if you predict a situation where a nosy parker may decide  to take a peak you can always temporarily disable the Medical ID by entering the health app, tapping <strong>Edit</strong> and disabling the <strong>Show when locked</strong> option.

Although ambulance staff and ED nurses and doctors are becoming increasingly familiar with this feature, unless the owner has spent a few minutes inputting their information this powerful tool cannot be utalised.

Healthcare professionals should have some knowledge of how to access a patient’s Medical ID. We should also consider encouraging our patients to input this important data so that it can be accessed in an emergency.

<p class=”referencesonrequestMIstyles”><strong>Dr Kieran Coleman is a GP registrar working in the West of Ireland and is co-founder of the medical app development company Hospital Contact Ltd.</strong>  <a href=””></a>


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<div> <h3 class=”NoParagraphStyle”><strong>Ion Air LP</strong></h3> </div> <p class=”BasicParagraph”>Vinyl is back and I do not mean the show that is currently on <em>Sky</em>. In fact most people in the know would say vinyl never went away!

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</div> <div> <h3 class=”GADGETSheadlineMIstyles”>Sound Bluetooth Sports Earbuds</h3> </div>

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We always wondered when wireless ear devices would come out and they are finally here.

Smartphone technology has changed so much including the explosion of Bluetooth and related devices.

One of the devices we really covet are these Bluetooth Sports Earbuds, as not only are they super practical, but also super cool.

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The sound is fantastic and best of all, no more cables in the way.

And there is one more thing, they come with a built in mic and controller so you can not only control your music from it, but you can also answer calls as you run or work out. We think these will definitely become one of your favourite accessories for your smartphone.

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