Scan any newspaper’s recent headlines and it becomes obvious: the world has been experiencing a rash of natural disasters, from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to the horrific tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and the southeastern United States. And that’s just in the past few months. Sadly, each of these disasters has claimed many victims. One thing that could have helped was a technology that keeps track of the unique medical histories of every person affected. Now, thanks in part to Microsoft Tag, there is just such a technology: the LifeSaver App.
LifeSaver provides an emergency responder with instantaneous access to the secure encrypted medical history of a patient. A patient loads his or her medical history into the 256 bit encrypted LifeSaver website and then prints out a LifeSaver Emergency Medical Identification Card (EMID). The card contains the person’s name, and also a website address where the medical information is stored, along with a user name and pin.
But here’s where Tag revolutionizes the process. To save critically needed time, the card also contains a Tag unique to each cardholder. All an emergency responder need do is scan the card’s Tag with his or her smart phone and up pops the patient’s medical information stored in the LifeSaver website’s database. The information includes the patient’s medical condition, blood type, allergies, medications and any other pertinent information that will save lives when a patient is incoherent or unconscious and least able to provide that critical information.
The LifeSaver App is the result of years of research by Marilyn Gard, the company’s president and founder. “I am wheelchair bound with multiple sclerosis and part of the reason I developed this is because I was really tired of going to a new doctor, having them hand me the clipboard and then have to spend the next 15 minutes filling out the information,” Gard says. “So I developed this because I was tired of going the typical medical route. But what I discovered in the process is that it’s really good for emergency responders to know what kind of needs exist with a client that they might be picking up. So it was kind of a personal need of mine that fostered or spurred the whole idea on for the project itself.”
The next phase of the App, coming in about 30 days, will allow for the uploading of x-rays, EKG’s, EEG’s or any other file stored in PDF format. It will also have the ability to store a living will or a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order for a patient.
“I think the biggest benefit,” says David Hickey, the company’s COO,” is that when an emergency responder picks someone up they can begin treatment before they even get to the emergency room. But this is for everybody. This is for young kids if something happens while they’re at school and both parents are at work. It’s for the elderly. It’s a great employee benefit program for employees. Athletes can print it on labels and stick it on the inside of their locker, on their shoulder pads, on their gym bag, or inside their shoe. So this really is applicable to anybody and everybody that has the potential to have an accident and we all do because we never know when an emergency is going to hit.”
What do you think about using Tag to make accessing medical records easier? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.