By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Accidents are never planned. However, there are ways of planning that can make the problems in an accident be minimized.

An example of that is an injury to someone who is alone. When medical help arrives, they will need to know a medical history.

A good example of that is if a diabetic has a drop in blood sugar and has an accident. First responders usually check blood sugar levels in those situations. However, a MedicAlert bracelet might lead them to suspect that as the issue.

We now live in the electronic world. Most people carry cell phones. Cell phones come equipped with an app that helps with that kind of thing. On my Apple iPhone it is titled Health. Ingenious!

The home screen allows you to track your daily fitness. It will give you steps for the day. It will give you recent trends in steps.

However, you can use that same app to include your medical history. The first section is called Health Details. It asks for basic information like name, date of birth and blood type. It also has a section on whether the individual uses a wheelchair. There is a section on whether the individual is on any medications that can affect heart rate.

 The second section is titled Medical ID. It has a section to list your underlying medical conditions. It has a section to list your allergies. This is more important than people realize. An acute allergic reaction might be the cause of the accident in the first place.

It allows you to list your current medications. This might help decide if the issue is a medication side effect. It might allow medical personnel to not give you a medication that can interact with one that you already take.

It also asks for your emergency contacts and their phone numbers. I have my wife and three daughters in that section.

There is also a section on emergency access. Enabling this section allows medical responders to gain access to this section of the phone when it is locked. They can tap emergency on the phone and then medical ID.

The next section allows you to activate the emergency SOS services. It allows you to set it up to call emergency services if the phone detects a crash. It allows you to have the phone notify you if it detects changes in your walking steadiness that might predict a fall.

The next section lists where your medical records are kept so your physician can be notified. There is a section to set up organ donation.

The last section is set up to have the data linked to iCloud. That allows automatic transfer of the information from iCloud to a new device when you get one. For non-iPhone users, Samsung also has a similar health app.

Anyone who has not yet put this information into their phones is missing an opportunity. You do not want to be in a coulda, woulda shoulda situation when it comes to your health. The time to think about doing this is now. It’s too late if you wait until you actually need it.