The new feature coming to iOS 13.5 and watchOS 6.2 would enable users to automatically share their data – which could include medical conditions, blood type, allergies or medications – when dialling 911 in certain parts of the United States.
The Medical ID feature already exists within iOS and watchOS for this purpose. It can be accessed from the lock screen without a passcode by opening the emergency call menu. On the Apple Watch, it8217;s a case of pressing and holding the side button.
The idea behind the feature is to ensure paramedics or other medical professionals can get access to potentially life saving information if the person they8217;re attending to is unresponsive or struggling to communicate.
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When the update launches there8217;ll be less involved in imparting the information to the first responders, with Apple saying the data will be transferred securely. Apple also says it8217;ll work with the fall detection tech that8217;s available on recent Apple Watch.
Apple, along with Google, is doing its bit to help limit the continued spread of the virus thanks to the Exposure Notification API that will alert smartphone users if they have come into contact with a person who has registered as testing positive for Covid-19.