Your iPhone & iOS has two features which could prove to be lifesaving: Emergency SOS and Medical ID.

Emergency SOS allows you to call for help and notify designated contacts in an emergency without unlocking and dialing for help.  Medical ID allows you to enter relevant identification and emergency contact information accessible to first responders even if your phone is locked.

 How-to make a call to emergency services (911 in the U.S):

  • On iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X – Hold down either volume button and the side button until the Emergency slider appears.  Drag the “Emergency SOS” slider to call emergency services, or continue holding the volume button/side button until a countdown appears.
  • On iPhone 7 and earlier – Rapidly press the side button 5 times (in India 3 times).

After emergency services is notified, your designated emergency contacts are notified via text message that you have made and emergency call and are provided with your current location.  If your location changes, your emergency contacts will get an update. If you accidentally invoke an emergency call, a countdown will appear and you can select “stop calling”.

Use the Settings App to setup Emergency SOS, and to enter emergency contacts in the Health app:



How-to setup Medical ID:

Open the Health App, and select “Show When Locked” so that this information can be viewed from your lock screen of the phone (as well as from a connected Apple Watch by holding down the side button of the watch).  You can enter relevant health information as well as your emergency contacts:


Viewing Medical ID:

From the lock screen, select “Emergency” in the lower left hand corner.  On the emergency call screen, select “Medical ID” in the lower left hand corner to display the user’s medical ID:



Note:  Screenshots taken on iPhone 8 running iOS 11.  Emergency Calling & Medical ID available in iOS 10.2.


My name is Peggy Flaxman, I founded Slice Tech Solutions in 2017 to provide technical support and training to indivduals, families and small businesses. I am a problem-solver by nature, and enjoy helping others understand and enjoy technology.

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