iPhone Medical Emergency and SOS Modes

There are two emergency modes that can help you when you are in trouble. The first allows anyone to make an emergency phone call to the local authorities or to one of your emergency contacts. It also shows critical medical information that can help someone help you. Another mode can be triggered by you to call for help.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: iPhone Medical Emergency and SOS Modes.

So there are two special emergency modes that you should know about on your iPhone. The first is if you're having some sort of medical emergency and you want somebody else to be able to use your iPhone to be able to help you. So this happens, of course. Your phone is locked and when they go to unlock it and they can't use face ID and they can't use touch ID because they are not you and they don't know your passcode. So what can they do to help you?

Well, they can tap the emergency button at the bottom left corner. This goes to the emergency call screen and it gives them a number pad there where they can call 911 in the United States and whatever emergency number is in the area you live in.

They can also, in addition to making that emergency call, they can tap the Medical ID button at the bottom left. That brings up your medical ID information. In there, not only do they see some things about you like your birthday and all that, but they also have a list of emergency contacts. In that list they can actually tap that and it will try to call that number. So you can actually add those numbers in there. They don't just have to use 911. They can use something in that list.

Let's look at how you set that. You want to go into the Health app. On the bottom tap Medical ID. Here's where you can set all of your information. You want to include information that will help you in an emergency. You can also tap Edit at the top right and you can edit your medical ID. That's where you edit all that stuff. That's where you can add emergency contacts. So you can add several contacts. Anybody you want people to be able to call from the emergency screen you should add there. Spouse, parents, children, doctors. Anybody you can put in there and they will be able to call from that screen.

Now the other emergency mode you should know about is for if you're in trouble and you want to make an emergency call very quickly and easily. So go into Settings and you'll see a category there for Emergency SOS. Here it gives you instructions on how to do it. It's going to be slightly different for different phones so you want to pay attention to the instructions at the top.

For the iPhone X here you can see I can use either volume button and the side button and I just hold them and it will automatically make an emergency call. I also have it turned on here where I can click five times on the side button and that will also make the call. Then there are several other options here. You can have your emergency contacts here as well. You can jump to them. You can have it play a countdown sound which can be a warning if you accidentally trigger this. You can cancel it. So let's accidentally trigger it and cancel it in time. I'll press both. You can see it takes me to this special screen here. Now I can go to Medical ID. I can slide over for Emergency SOS. Or I can cancel. I can also power off. It's the same command here to power the iPhone off.

Now let me try pressing on the right side five times. It's automatically going to go there. You can see I canceled it before it got to that countdown. I turned off that sound. So the handy thing here is I can have my iPhone in my pocket. I could be in trouble and I can just reach in and find that button. Tap it five times and it will go to this. Make that emergency call. Make that alert even if I haven't pulled the phone out of my pocket.

So if you want more details Apple has this webpage here that you can go to. It tells you how this feature works. How it might differ depending on the areas that you're in. For instance, in India you press three times instead of five and what happens at the end of a call. Here it tells you, for instance, at the end of the call a text message with your location will be sent to your emergency contacts. You can check out this page here for more details.

But it is important you familiarize yourself with these two emergency modes on your iPhone because, of course, you don't want to be figuring them out when you actually need them. You want to make sure you setup your medical ID so that's all setup and maybe test it. Then also take a look at the SOS functions and kind of have it in your mind how these work so you know how to use them when you need them.

Comments: One Response to “iPhone Medical Emergency and SOS Modes”

    Robert Strasser
    1 year ago

    Medical ID does Not show up on my iPhone 7. I have set up emergency contact in the Medical App. If I press the home button twice, without unlocking the phone, then Emergency shows up on the bottom left. Tapping Emergency brings up the keypad with Medical ID in lower left.

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