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New phone feature keeps you safe in emergency

Posted at 2:26 PM, Oct 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 17:26:41-04

A new feature on the iPhone allows you to share important medical information with emergency crews, with the tap of a screen.

It's called Medical ID. It came out with iOS 8, so a year ago, but many in town are unaware.

The feature lives in your Health app that came with iOS 8. You open the app, click the Medical ID button on the bottom right-hand side of your screen and you push "create Medical ID." Once there, you can add your birthday, allergies, medications, blood type, emergency contacts ect.

Things every emergency responder would like to have to provide the best care for their patients.

"We need to know your medical history to give you the best treatment possible and get you going to the right facility," Kern County Fire Captain Tyler Townsend said.

The problem is, there is yet to be an official training process for many of our local emergency departments.

Kern County Fire has been spreading the word of this feature on their Facebook page, to try and get more people to use this technology, but it's a slow process.

"I think we're going to start re-posting every month or so, to remind people," Townsend said.

Locals say they think it's a great way to communicate important information. George Earl came to Bakersfield to retire and keeps a hand written list of all his medications and the dosage.

"That would be fantastic for me because I carry a list in my pocket which when I give it to them, they sometimes don't give it back and I have to write a new list," Earl said.

Earl has an appointment to program his Android phone tomorrow and said now his first question will be how to get his medical information on his phone. There is another Medical ID app that can be downloaded onto Androids.

Luz Raya, another local, said her husband has an iPhone and they were unaware of this technology. She speaks Spanish and explained that she and her husband are older and on many medications, so a feature like Medical ID would be useful for them to help with the language barrier in an emergency.

Emergency departments 23ABC spoke with said they are working on getting a formal training together for their employees so everyone can be up-to-date with this technology.