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Could a Smartphone Save a Life?

The technological advances in medicine, changes in health care and recognition of the quality of life are factors that are now allowing patients to be at home rather than in alternative living arrangements. With this technology come challenges for caregivers to see that proper and timely care is delivered. For children who are critically ill, the caregivers are often parents or other family members. For people who cannot speak or make rational decisions, the caregivers are often spouses, siblings or a hired caregiver. Any of these caregivers may be responsible for administering medications, for operating life-sustaining equipment and for performing complicated techniques. With these responsibilities may come apprehension and concerns over something going wrong or the patient requiring sudden emergency treatment and care.

McGregor Memorial EMS wants to be fully prepared in the event of an emergency by knowing how to properly treat a patient who requires specialized treatment and/or equipment. To better serve you, we ask that you contact us so that one of our paramedics can meet with you and review what may need to be done.

As a reminder, when one calls 9-1-1 he/she is asked numerous medical questions so that the proper response can be assigned by the dispatcher. People may tend to believe that this delays response yet can be assured that notification of emergency personnel is occurring simultaneously. With McGregor Memorial EMS already in receipt of critical patient information and location, the potential for unnecessary delay is virtually eliminated and, if needed, specially trained personnel can be summoned to respond – regardless of the response assignment by the 9-1-1 operator.

The advent of Smartphones has spawned myriad apps to store medical data. While there may be apprehension over a breach of data, many of these apps are not web-based and reside solely on the phone. For those with iPhones, the latest operating system allows you to store medical info and allows us to access it without needing a passcode! McGregor members have been instructed as to how to access this information in the event the patient, parent or caregiver cannot. Have you ever wondered what the Emergency button at the lower left of your passcode screen is about? If you press it, it will take you to another touchpad screen that allows you to dial 9-1-1. In the lower left corner of this screen, in red type, is a red *Medical ID. This is how your information can be accessed.

So, how do I create this iPhone database? On an iPhone homescreen, look for an app icon with a heart on a white background. Open it and you’ll see what the app can do and how best to enter your medical info. It is solely the decision of the phone user as to what content is provided. The app also contains many additional health features that you may want to utilize.

For Android phone users, there are many apps available that perform similar functions. You may want to consider some. Trying to recall key medical information during a medical emergency is nearly impossible. Having it readily available on a Smartphone for EMS and hospital requests is priceless.

Anyone wishing to meet with one of our paramedics is asked to call our station at 603-862-3674 or send an email to

See the attached instructions for setting up the Medical ID on iPhone below.

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