Every day, patients are brought into emergency rooms or other medical scenarios. Often, depending on their symptoms and situations, they are unable to let the clinicians know certain medical information that may be critical to their care and recovery. As medical providers, Kindred Healthcare and our clinicians are familiar with patients' medical information as it pertains to charts, patient interactions and patient advocates. While our facilities generally don't operate typical emergency room settings, we understand the benefits of having your medical information on hand in case of emergency.

Over the years, many of us have been advised to save our next-of-kin or emergency contacts in our contacts list under the moniker "ICE," short for "In Case of Emergency." The problem with this practice in today's world is that many of us lock our phones, so no emergency medical providers or first responders would ever be able to access a full list of contacts.

Thankfully there is a workaround on most smart phones that people are learning about more and more - Medical ID. With Medical ID, essential medical and contact information can be accessed by an emergency responder even if a phone is locked. Medical ID can quickly and easily be set up by the phone's owner. To set up a Medical ID or emergency contacts, follow the below steps.

For a complete list of instructions with screenshots, download the infographic.

Download Infographic

To set up Medical ID on iPhone:

  1. Open the app store and locate the Health App (comes standard on iPhones and is denoted by a white icon with a pink heart in the top right corner).
  2. You will see four options in the bottom: Dashboard, Health Data, Sources, and Medical ID. Tap "Medical ID."
  3. From this page, you can add your birthday/age, known medical conditions, allergies and medications, spouse, mother and father's phone numbers, blood type, whether or not you are an organ donor and your approximate height.* 

To view Medical ID information on a locked iPhone:

  1. While the phone is locked, slide right to access unlock pattern/digits.
  2. Select "Emergency" from bottom left corner.
  3. Select Medical ID from bottom left corner. 
  4. Tada!

To set up Medical ID on (most) Android phones:


  1. Open contacts list.
  2. Tap on "groups" in top right corner.
  3. There should be a group set called "integrated groups" (ex. favorites, co-workers etc.). Tap on ICE - Emergency Contacts.
  4. Tap Add, and add up to four emergency contacts. These can be imported from pre-existing contacts or new to your contact list.

NEXT (once you have your contacts in the group set):

  1. While the phone is locked, tap "Backup Password."
  2. Tap "Emergency Call."
  3. A touch pad for dialing 911 should appear, along with four circles with plus (+) signs in them. Click on each (+) and pick a contact from your pre-saved ICE group set.

Note that Androids do not allow for listing actual medical information (iPhones do). Android users can download the following apps to display medical information from a locked Android:

       i.         iMedAlert
      ii.         MyID
     iii.         ICE: In Case of Emergency 

Remember that it never hurts to save emergency contact information the old-fashioned way. For contacts who should be alerted in emergency situations, put "ICE" before or after their contact name.

*It is important to note that information included on Medical ID can be accessed by anyone who has your phone. Always be cautious when filling in your personal information for anything. Remember that a paramedic may pick up your phone for the right reasons in an emergency, but there is the possibility that someone else could pick it up and use it for the wrong reasons. Your private medical information is private, and only information that may be useful or necessary in an emergency situation should be entered.

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