So let's say that you're in a car accident and you're barely conscious. The paramedics want to administer some medication, but they can't because they have no idea what you're allergic to and you're not awake or coherent. However, if you're an iPhone owner, the next update to iOS 13.5 will help with this scenario. According to CNET, Apple last week pushed out a beta version of iOS 13.5 which gave users the opportunity to opt-in to a new feature that could be the difference between life or death; this feature will share users' Medical ID information to responders whenever a call is placed to 911.
Apple is improving its Medical ID feature with the iOS 13.5 update
What is Medical Information? It is the company that puts your medical history on bracelets, dog tags, and other wearable items so that emergency responders can learn your history quickly. But with Apple's new system, the paramedics will have this information automatically if you opt-in. There is also a Medical ID feature on the iPhone that is available now. To access it, open the Health app (that's the one with the icon showing a heart in the right corner). Under the Summary page you will see a box that says "Set up your Medical ID." Press the "Get Started" prompt and you'll be asked a series of questions pertaining to your health. You can add a photo and there is even a toggle switch to allow the Medical ID info to be accessible even when your iPhone is locked. This is offered as an option just in case you are unconscious and the emergency responders can't unlock your phone.
When iOS 13.5 is installed (it is expected to be disseminated by Apple in the near future), a new toggle that reads "Share During Emergency Call" will appear. Toggle on if you want your Medical ID information to be shared automatically when 911 is dialed. You do have to be in a region of the U.S. that supports "Enhanced Emergency Data."
While a Medical ID feature is not native to Android, you can set one up by jogging over to the Google Play Store to install the Medical ID ICE (In Case of Emergency) app. There are two versions of the app, one is free and the other will cost you $5.49. The developer recommends trying the free version before you pony up for the premium app. As with the native iOS feature, you can arrange for the Medical ID data to be available even when your Android handset is locked. You can also set up a banner, icon, or widget that will appear on the home screen that should catch the attention of the medical professionals.
Apple has been adding health-related features to its devices and the Apple Watch is a good example of that. The timepiece monitors users' heart rates and rhythms and the Apple Watch Series 6 will reportedly be equipped with a pulse oximeter. The latter measures the amount of oxygen found in a person's blood. At least one Doctor has discovered that a low reading (90% to 100% is normal) could be an early warning sign that someone is about to feel the wrath of the coronavirus. Just yesterday we told you that Standford University is looking to begin a study to see whether fitness trackers and smartwatches can provide someone with an early warning that they will be stricken by COVID-19.
The study will measure a person's heart rate, skin temperature, and blood oxygen levels. To be a participant in the study, you need to visit Standford's website by clicking on this link. You also must be 18 years of age, own a Fitbit, an Apple Watch or another wearable device and agree to wear the fitness tracker or smartwatch continuously, install certain apps on the device, and fill out a daily symptom survey.