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In Case of Emergency

What is ICE?

Developed by former paramedic Bob Brotchie after the bombings of the London Underground in 2004, In Case of Emergency (ICE) is a quick and convenient way for first responders to access emergency contacts and critical medical information from your smartphone should you be found unresponsive or incapacitated in some other way.

When setup correctly, this potentially life-saving information can become available while your smartphone is locked. Along with your emergency contacts, you can also list your name and date of birth, weight and height, blood type, any medical conditions, allergies or reactions you may have, any medication you are currently taking, and any other important notes you wish to disclose in the event of an emergency.

How do I set up ICE on my iPhone?

With the release of iOS 8 in 2014, Apple included Medical ID in the Health app and has continued to support it ever since. This means that every iPhone running iOS 8 or later has ICE capabilities thoughtfully built right into the operating system as a standard.

To set up your Medical ID, you’ll need to open the Health app (the icon has a heart towards the top right corner) and then tap the Medical ID tab at the bottom right of the screen (the icon is a red 6-pointed asterisk).

From here you can to tap Edit at the top right of the screen, or if it’s your first time using the app you will need to tap Edit Medical ID when prompted. You can then enter any relevant information you wish to make available to first responders in an emergency. Be careful to make sure any information you provide is accurate and kept up to date – and only enter information you know is correct.

To make your Medical ID available from the Lock screen, turn on Show When Locked underneath the Emergency Access heading. Finally, make sure to tap Done when you’re finished to save everything you’ve entered.

To access your information from a locked iPhone, simply go to the passcode screen and tap Emergency. Then tap Medical ID in the bottom left corner of the Emergency keypad screen.

How do I set up ICE on my Android phone?

With the release of Android 9 in 2018, Google included the ability to add a link to your Emergency Information to your phone’s lock screen. This means that every Android smartphone running Andriod 9 or later has ICE capabilities thoughtfully built right into the operating system as a standard.

To add Emergency Information to your lock screen, you’ll need to open the Settings app (the icon is a grey cog), and then tap the About Phone tab (the icon is the universal information symbol, an ‘i’ in a circle).

From here you can tap Emergency Information. If you don’t see this option here, try going back to Users & Accounts to find it there. You can then enter any relevant information you wish to make available to first responders in an emergency. To enter medical information, tap Edit Information. For emergency contacts, tap Add Contact.

Be careful to make sure any information you provide is accurate and kept up to date – and only enter information you know is correct.

To access your information from the lock screen, simply swipe up and tap Emergency. Then tap Emergency Information, and when Emergency Information flashes just tap it again.

What if my phone doesn't have ICE?

There are plenty of apps available if your smartphone doesn’t come with ICE capabilities as standard, but of course some are better than others. To browse what’s available open the App Store on iPhone, or the Google Play store on Android, and type in In Case of Emergency. Keep in mind that some of these apps will be free, while others will come with a fee for the full version.

One that we have found to work well is called “Medical ID : ICE”. It comes as a free download which enables you to enter and store critical medical information, however upgrading to the full version is required to enter and store emergency contact information.

Whichever way you choose to do it, everyone really should have their ICE set up correctly. If this is the first time you have heard about this feature, please pass on the information to your loved ones – it could save lives.

If you have any questions about setting up ICE or other apps on your phone, or if you’re having trouble with any of your devices in the home or office, feel free to contact us for help.

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