New Apple updates merging Medical ID and Emergency SOS features for prompt medical care

Apple is beta-testing new features for iOS 13.5 and watchOS 6.2.5, which are expected to be updated by the end of May 2020.

These new software features are intended to alert the first responders and make a significant impact in saving lives more effectively, amid this coronavirus pandemic.

Apple iPhone and Watch already support a feature known as Medical ID. Through this feature, a user can put together all their contact information, date of birth, medical conditions, allergies, blood type, and any relevant medical or health-related information in one place.

In case of emergency, when the user is not responsive, this Medical ID can be accessed by holding the side button on an Apple Watch or from the Lock Screen on the iPhone without reaching for a passcode.

Any paramedic or first responder can quickly go through all the medical information in such cases of emergency.

Another feature that both Watch and iPhone support, is the Emergency SOS. It contains the relevant information about the emergency contacts of the user; therefore, it can send alerts to them in case of medical urgency.

Also, it can help the first responders reach local emergency services if the user is not conscious or is unresponsive by holding the Side Button on iPhone and Apple Watch for several seconds.

Now, Apple is merging both these features in its latest updates in iOS 13.5 and watchOS 6.2.5. Emergency SOS feature will automatically share the information stored in Medical ID with emergency contact and the first responders or paramedics.

This is a vital upgrade and it can save many lives because of its efficacy and fast speed. Without wasting time, first responders or paramedics can simply receive all the important medical and health-related information when Emergency SOS is activated.

It does not mean that the privacy of a user’s medical information is violated. The point to note here is that all the Medical ID data is encrypted and stored safely and privately on the device. The privacy is taken care of by relying on Enhanced Emergency Data to share the information with relevant people, in a secure manner.

These are some amazing features that can have a very positive impact and can help many people stuck in unprecedented circumstances.

It seems that Apple is greatly concerned about public safety and health because there is another special feature, known as Fall Detection, which has been incorporated in Apple Watch Series 4 and later.

Whenever a fall is detected, and the user is unresponsive, automatic calls and alerts to the emergency services can be made through this feature.

The new Medical ID sharing feature will also merge with Fall Detection from now on.

Currently, these features are in beta testing, but once they will be available in the latest updated Apple iOS and Watch versions, it will be interesting to observe how users will review them and whether they will be as promising as they sound at the moment or not?

Hat Tip: Cnet.

Read next: First Look At Apple and Google's Contact Tracing Software For COVID-19
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