🥇 Apple patent improves access to emergency contacts and medical records

3 min

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today released an Apple patent application that describes improved techniques for displaying emergency contact information and medical records on a locked device.

The patent entitled “EMERGENCY INFORMATION ACCESS TO PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES” describes improved techniques for facilitating emergency access to one or more contacts stored on a portable electronic device, where one or more contacts on the portable electronic device are referred to as emergency contacts.

The patent appears to be expanding existing medicine ID emergency function, which can be displayed on the lock screen of an iPhone in iOS 8. However, there are additional features and the ability to call certain contacts instead of simply making an emergency call or viewing medical records.

Apple patent background

Portable electronic devices, including mobile phones, PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and portable media players have become an integral part of everyday life. With the development of these devices, more and more people are turning to portable electronic devices that perform two or more of these functions in a single device, i. H. Smartphones combine. The use of these devices has made it increasingly likely that people who own them rarely leave their homes without them.

Apple Patent Emergency Contacts 2

One type of application that runs on many of the aforementioned portable electronic devices is an address book. This address book is typically used to store contact information, including phone numbers, so that the owner of the portable electronic device can retrieve that contact information at will. However, the address book and other information on the portable electronic device are often only accessible to the person who owns the portable electronic device, as this type of device is usually locked by the user to prevent unauthorized access.

Many portable electronic devices include a password lock feature that requires a password to be entered before the device can be used. For example, in a typical password-protected cell phone, any person who tries to access information stored on the cell phone will be prompted for a password and the cell phone will not be used until the correct password is entered.

Typically, access to a locked portable electronic device is prevented by using a screen lock. To gain access to the address book, the user can enter a password to unlock the screen. However, there are situations in which it would be desirable for someone who does not know the password to unlock a password-protected portable electronic device in order to be able to access at least some of the information on this portable electronic device.

Currently, most smartphones are welcomed to a screen where their owners can view information that the user has identified when turning on a device, while maintaining the confidentiality of other data on the device by accessing other information about the device Welcome information beyond the welcome screen, a password is required. However, for many reasons, including for privacy reasons, the owner of the device may not endeavor to display identification information or other personal information on this screen. There is therefore a need for improved methods that allow the owner of a portable electronic device to specify and customize information that can be accessed on a password-protected portable electronic device without entering the password.

Added to this is portability and increasingly portable electronic devices of smaller size have the disadvantage that they are prone to loss. The design of most portable electronic devices is such that it is difficult or impossible to identify the owner of the device without extensive detective work, which is undesirable for a variety of reasons, including concerns about the owner’s privacy.

Therefore, there is also a need for improved methods of providing information to help return a lost portable electronic device to its rightful owner.


In one embodiment of the patent, the user of the device can enter various personal information, namely emergency information, device on which it is stored. Usually, the “software lock” for the device is activated when it is switched on or is not used for a certain period of time. Even if the lock is activated, the emergency information can be made available to the user, while other information remains unavailable. In one embodiment, the lock screen can be bypassed to gain access to the emergency information.

Apple Patent Emergency Contacts 1

As an example, assume that the owner of the device has entered predetermined medical information that should be available even if the software lock is activated. In this case, the medical information remains available to anyone who owns the device. If the owner is injured in an accident, the device can be used to access the given medical information. For example, a healthcare professional can easily interact with the device, bypassing the software lock and displaying the medical information (such as allergies, existing medication, blood type, illness or other health information, etc.). as well as emergency contacts.

Patent credits

Apple credits Steven Charles Michalske (Sunnyvale, CA) as the sole inventor of U.S. Patent Application No. 20150052618.

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