Apple is going to introduce another health-focused change in iOS 13.5 for iPhones and Apple Watch. The company will share one’s Medical ID with emergency services and first responders. The new feature is already a part of iOS 13.5 beta 4 and prompts users to review their Medical ID data when they open the Health app.
The feature will be rolling out as a part of iOS 13.5 and watchOS 6.2.5 which should be rolled out over the next couple of weeks. Medical ID itself is not a new feature and it allows iPhone and Apple Watch users to note down their important health data in one place. This includes their date of birth, medical conditions, blood type, emergency contact information, and more. Others can access Medical ID on an iPhone from the Lock Screen without having to unlock it thereby making it useful for first responders. On the Apple Watch, Medical ID can be accessed by pressing the Side Button.
With iOS 13.5, Apple will tie this feature with the Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone and Apple Watch. One can make an Emergency SOS call on their iPhone by holding the Side button and Volume button for a few seconds until the slider to make the call appears. The feature will also be linked to the fall detection feature on the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5. Your Medical ID data will be shared with emergency services with the emergency call thereby allowing them to help you better.
Users will have to manually opt into the feature. Apple also notes that all data is encrypted and stored privately on your device. The feature uses Enhanced Emergency Data and Apple will make use of your location to determine if it is supported in your area. If not, then your Medical ID data will not be sent during an emergency call. The feature will also require Location Services to be enabled to work properly.
This might not seem like a big deal, but this feature again shows how Apple is ahead of the curve of other companies and how heavily it focuses on improving the health aspect of its users with its devices. What do you think about this new feature in iOS 13.5?