Your smartphone is your new wallet, and your new ID
Emergencies occur without warning, and anyone can find themselves in a life threatening situation at anytime. When that happens, we’re usually at the mercy of first responders, fate, and whatever (or whoever) we believe in. But what if there are some important medical information about you that first responders should know in order to help you? Or even information about who to contact to inform of your emergency? Or just information to identify you?
The number of smartphone users in Australia is expected to hit 18.44 million this year, and 19.27 million by 2022.
To put this into perspective, consider the current Australian population is a little over 25 million, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That means around 78 percent of the population use a smartphone.
Estimates indicate almost 18.5 million smartphone users in Australia this 2020. Source.
Phone plans are so cheap these days, that virtually anyone can afford to have a smartphone. In many cases, kids who don’t even have ID cards yet (or even wallets to hold ID cards) already own cell phones. In other words, your smartphone has become an extension of you.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, in case of an emergency, your smartphone is one of the first things first responders check to identify you and your medical information, as well as to figure out who to contact to inform them of your emergency.
This makes your smartphone even more important, and adding such valuable information to your home screen can be a matter of life or death
In this article, we’ll show you how to do this on your Android device, and even give specific steps for smartphones manufactured by the popular Samsung. Read on to find out how.
But how will such information be accessed without compromising other private information on my smartphone?
We understand that your privacy is a major concern, and it should be. That’s why we’ll show you how to add such emergency information to your phone’s lock screen — your phone doesn’t need to unlocked to access it, and so you don’t need to give anyone your password or worry about other private information being accessed.
Android smartphones allow you to add any information you’d like to your home screen so there’s no need to actually open the phone. Some phones (like Samsung smartphones) even allow you access to an “emergency” contact list without unlocking the phone, so that first responders can get in touch with whoever you put on that list, rather than get full access to your contact list.
Setting up emergency information for your Android smartphone’s lock screen
As stated, you can display pretty much anything on your Android phone’s lock screen. There are a couple of ways to get this done, and they’re pretty easy to do. Here’s how:
- Open your Settings app;
- Tap “Security & location”;
- Tap “Settings” next to “Screen lock”;
- Tap “Lock screen message”;
- Enter medical information (or any other info you’d like first responders to see).
- Open your Settings app;
- Tap “System”;
- Tap “About phone”;
- Tap “Emergency Information”;
- Tap “Edit information” to add medical information (If there’s no “Edit information”, tap “Info” first);
- To add emergency contacts, tap “Add contact”. (If there’s no “Add contacts”, tap “Contact”).
To access emergency info if you used Method 2, first responders will swipe up on your lock screen, tap “Emergency”, then tap “Emergency information” when it flashes.
Setting up emergency information on your Samsung
Samsung makes some of the most popular Android phones, and their process might be a bit different. So we’ll also walk you through how to set up your emergency information on your Samsung phone, if you have one. Here’s how:
- Open your Settings app;
- Go to “Lock screen and security”;
- Go to “Info and app shortcuts”;
- Go to “Owner information”;
- Enter medical information, or any other information you’d like to make available on your lock screen.
You can also create an emergency contact list (ICE – In Case of Emergency) that can be accessed from the lock screen. Here’s how:
- Open your Contacts app;
- Tap “Groups” at the top right;
- Tap “ICE – emergency contacts”;
- Add your emergency contacts and hit Save;
- Lock your phone;
- Drag the phone icon to the middle until the keypad appears;
- Tap “Emergency Call”;
- Tap the “+” symbol to add up to 3 contacts from your ICE group.
Adding emergency information to your smartphone’s lock screen can really come in handy, even in cases that are not life threatening. For instance, if you lose your phone and it get’s found by a good Samaritan, how will they know who it belongs to and how will they contact you? With your emergency info available on the lock screen, doing so becomes pretty easy.
Adding emergency info to your lock screen isn’t only an Android feature – iPhones have also made room for this. Just open your Health app and tap the “Medical ID” tab > “Edit” > and enter a wide range of medical information and emergency contacts. This info, like Android phones, will be available on your iPhone’s lock screen — just hit “Emergency”, followed by “Medical ID”.