Travel App Tip: Medical ID for Android

This app can save your life or at least assisting in do so. The app “Medical ID” is available only for Android users and gives you a place to note all relevant information about your medical conditions. It can help first responders react more quickly and figure out if you need specific medication or if you have allergies to some.

Many phones provide similar features already built-in but this app has the most features I have seen so far and you can also add multiple people with photos. This is great if you are traveling and you can have you and your partner added to the list. If they just find one phone, they have information for both of you.

To get the most out of Medical ID you have to allow it to be accessed from the lock screen without a password. The set up for this is super easy and the app will guide you through the steps. It also needs certain permissions (location, make phone calls, send text messages) to give you all the features. Now you can probably argue that this could be a safety concern as anyone who finds your phone can now access this data. However, this quick access can make the difference between life and death. I would especially worry if you have a known condition.

You have three options for displaying a way to open your Medical ID. Either with a banner, icon by itself, or an overlay. I recommend you to use either icon or banner as overlay creates a “lock screen” on top of the lock screen on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Just play with the settings and see what you like most. You can also adjust the colors and position, as well as the text and translate it to your language. 

Once installed, create your “medical” profile by adding all the required information. It can also show your BMI, which you can turn off in the settings. 

Define emergency contacts in the app and if someone finds the phone, this person can select to send an emergency message to your pre-defined contacts. The message sent can be customized but the default message is amazing as it also includes your location. You can use that even yourself to send an emergency message and don’t have to type anything. That way your emergency contact can contact emergency services or go and find you. 

Furthermore, the app allows making phone calls to the listed emergency contacts and to emergency hotlines. You can also show a link to first aid techniques, which will open the built-in web-browser to show someone who is not familiar with different techniques. I think the person is probably faster “googling” stuff on his phone, but in case the person is without a phone it’s a great resource as well as a reminder that they could look up something like this. Many people probably won’t even think about something like this if they find a person with a condition and try to help.

Other features included:

  • Quick access to medical data from your lock screen.
  • Support for multiple profiles (e.g. your husband, wife, children).
  • ICE contacts definition and direct call from your lock screen.
  • Alert feature to send an SMS in one tap (including your estimated location).
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation.
  • Current location information (address, GPS coordinates).
  • Nearby hospitals localization.
  • Compass.

The nearby hospital localization did work on my smartphone first after unlocking the phone. You might also have to turn off battery optimization for this app, otherwise, Android can kill the app, and it won’t work anymore.

There are two versions of the app available. Start with the free app first to see if you like it and if it works with your phone. The paid version offers more features and is available for a short time right now (as of the writing of this post).

The developer of Medical ID is located in France and therefore the strict privacy regulations of the European Union apply.

If you have questions or issues with the app, please first contact the developer before you leave a negative review. 

Conclusion

This is a great app no matter if you travel a lot or if you just out for grocery shopping. You never know when something happens to you. Little did we know that we will face a pandemic in 2020 but it happened. One of the biggest advantages of this app is to add multiple person/profiles which can easily be identified if you add a photo for each person. For example, you can add the medical information of your partner and kids as well. So that way first responders have the necessary information on hand. You can also select if you are an organ donor or not.

I liked this app, but I also know there are a ton of similar apps out there. Maybe even better once. This was one of a few I tested and so far liked it the most. One downside is also that it only works with Android and there is no iOS version. 

What are your thoughts?

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