The technology works by sending important emergency information about the caller entered in the Personal Safety app, like age, weight, blood type, allergies, and more, to a platform called RapidSOS. Over 15,000 911 and field responder agencies are tapped into RapidSOS, which has supported relaying Medical ID data from iPhones since 2020.
If you’re dialing 911 from your phone, there’s a chance you’re hurt or, for some other reason, unable to communicate your situation and your information. “This information is available to use before the dispatch and before the responders arrive,” Baltimore City Fire Department 911 director Tenea Reddick states in a press release. “It saves so much time because we already know what we’re responding to and what we need.”
Since 2018, both Android and iPhone devices could already send location data using the RapidSOS system, but on the Android side, only recent Google Pixel phones could send saved medical data via the Personal Safety app. Now, millions of non-Pixel smartphones running Android 12 or newer can also send this on your behalf, in addition to displaying it on the lock screen.
Opting into sharing emergency data can look different depending on your device. You can enable Emergency SOS by finding it in Settings > Safety & Emergency. From there, you can enable all the safety features offered on your device, including the Personal Safety app if available. You’ll be able to designate more information, such as if you’re an organ donor and your emergency contact info.