Being Prepared: Cloud-Based Medical Info

We like to believe that medical emergencies couldn’t happen to us or our loved ones, but these things can happen to anyone at any time. Such an emergency took place at my brothers wedding recently, which then prompted my new sister-in-law to send us all a copy of her medical history and a note to “not let her die”.

Sure, we could all save the email or print the document and store it away, but chances are I won’t have time to thumb through my saved emails or head home to retrieve a document if something serious happened. Instead I borrowed the template that was provided, set up a Google Drive account, linked everyone to it via email, and a saved contact in our phones. Now when an emergency happens and that information in needed, we recall a contact in our phone, open the link, and have immediate access to the medical information we need in a few taps of a finger.

What You Need

  • A medical information template, ours is here: Medical History Draft
  • A Google Drive, Dropbox, or other Cloud storage account
  • A Smartphone

Setting It Up

Start by creating an account with your preferred Cloud storage service. For this demonstration I’ll be using Google Drive. If you have Gmail, you already have a Drive account with 15gb of storage.

On the Drive dashboard, press “New” in the upper left to create a new folder, or right-click center screen and create a new folder. Name it whatever you like, open the folder, and place the Medical History draft into the folder. Once it uploads, go back a screen to the Drive dashboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, right click the new folder and select “Share”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll need to change the permissions to allow anyone with a link to edit the files.

Common sense alert – make sure the people you send this link to are responsible and trustworthy.

 

 

 

 

 

Next, enter the email addresses of those who you would like to have access to this folder and its contents.

 

 

 

In the note section that appears before you hit send, be sure to ask those receiving this email to download a draft, fill in their information, save it and title the document with their name, and re-upload it to this folder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve done this, you can email access to the recipients.

 

Quick Access

What I did next was create a contact in my phone called Emergency Medical Information. I use an iPhone, so in the contact details I added a link to the Drive folder in the webpage/homepage field. You can quickly get this link by right-clicking the folder in drive, selecting “Share” and using the “Get Shareable Link” option in the upper right corner. For best results, email yourself a link so you don’t have to copy it character by character.

With your contact created, share it with your family. In an emergency all one will need to do is pull up the contact, open the link, and they will have access to the medical files you’ve created.


I don’t think that this is the perfect system, but it is better than having nothing at all. My suggestion, once everyone has uploaded their copy of the document to the folder, is to change permissions to the folder and allow those with a link to only View the contents. This removes the possibility of accidentally deleting information. As I said above, only share this link with people who absolutely need access. Lastly, be sure to have everyone update their information frequently as things are always changing.

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