Released last week, the latest developer version of iOS 13.5 beta comes with a new, opt-in feature that will enable iPhone and Apple Watch users to automatically share their medical information with paramedics and first responders during an emergency. An expansion of the Medical ID feature on iOS, the new functionality will send the medical information of users to the emergency dispatcher on the activation of the SOS feature on the iPhone and the Apple Watch.
According to Apple, the feature will help save lives by shaving off crucial decision-making time about how to tackle a particular emergency. It will ensure that first responders will have the information they need to make decide on their course of action even before get to the location.
As mentioned already, the new feature will be an opt-in functionality, which means users will have to expressly consent to having their medical history send to emergency dispatchers automatically.
According to Apple, it will provide emergency services personnel with key info like allergies, language and medical conditions, enabling them to decide how to communicate and which drugs to refrain from.
iOS 13.5 is also bringing an interesting new change to the unlocking option on iPhones, whereby it will skip Face ID and go directly to the passcode option whenever it detects an user wearing a mask. It also comes with the Exposure Notification API that Apple is co-developing with Google and will work on both Android and iOS. According to the two tech giants, the new software will help government agencies and healthcare providers contact-trace people with possible exposure to the coronavirus.
According to Apple, when the Medical ID sharing feature is enabled, a call or text to emergency services shares location and encrypted Medical ID info with Apple.
Apple uses location to determine whether Enhanced Emergency Data is supported in your area, and if so, the Medical ID info is forwarded to a partner for delivery to medical services.
If Emergency Calls & SOS in Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services is disabled, the feature does not work.
Featured Image Courtesy: Apple (via MacRumors)