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Emergency Access to Medical Information

 

In an emergency, or when you see a new doctor, they need to know your medical representative, conditions, doctors, medicines, allergies, hospital stays, etc. You can print and keep a page in your cars' glove compartments, your wallet, and/or on the web, accessible by a web address, phone number, or QR code (square dots which direct a phone to a website).

 

Emergency medics usually notice a bracelet, so that may be best if there is something they need to know immediately. They also often look for your driver's license to find your name and age. They use these for medical records and billing. So you can tape a card to the license, to show major medical conditions, allergies, major drugs, and your medical representative, with big enough type to read fast in dim light. A bracelet or necklace can show some of that but not all. If your fire department suggests storing documents on your refrigerator, in your freezer or a medicine bottle, that will help when you are at home. One company says 95% look for a bracelet and 68% look for a necklace.

 

If medics have time and are allowed, they can use a QR code on the card to look at your online information with their phones. Some medics do this. Others have policies against using cellphones at an accident, to protect privacy. A web address is best for hospitals, which often do not have a QR code reader. Key information which medics might reach needs to be in a web page or a compact image file, like .tiff .gif or .png. Jpg and bmp are ok, but they are bigger and slower to download to a medic's phone. Many phones have trouble with .pdf files. Hospitals and doctors' offices can use a computer, so they can handle more information and .pdf files. If your phone is still with you and working, they may find ICE contacts in your phone directory, but you cannot count on it.

 

PRIVACY: Wherever you store information, someone other than medics may find it (friends, car repair staff, security cameras if it is a sticker on the back of your phone or on a keychain). Your wallet may be a safe place, and inside your phone cover, with a note on the outside that it is there. You may not want to store true date of birth, address, or photo in the online file. Think about what medics will need. They will probably find your driver's license or health insurance card, so those do not need to be in the online file or glove compartment.

 

Hospitals may believe your advance directive more if you add a brief video or audio online of yourself saying your wishes and why they matter to you, besides the signed document. They may also prefer a recent date. People often check and update their information at least every year.

 

You can store documents yourself. For example Dropbox lets you Upload the file. Then when your cursor is on the file name, there is a button to "Share," then "Create a link," then "Copy link." This link is a url, or web address, which goes directly to the file you uploaded. You can create a tiny url, and a free QR code for the link, print them on your wallet/purse card (above), and/or have them engraved on a bracelet or tag. You can update a Dropbox file, without changing the name, link, or QR code, by dragging and dropping the new version (same name) onto the Dropbox file name when your browser is open at Dropbox.

 

After you set up your wallet/purse card, Dynotag recommends asking an emergency responder to read it, to see if it tells them what they need to know.

 

Company

Product

Access methods

QR is instant, or type website, then

Privacy

Reviews

Access copies of documents, like Advance Directive?

Dropbox

File hosting service, "Basic" plan has 2 gigabytes free, if you log in every year

Web.

QR code can be printed on a tag, or on paper (& laminated).

15-character mix of letters and numbers which are part of web address, so you need a URL shortener

Depends where you put it.

A+ BBB

Yes, you get a separate web address for each document, so you can organize any way you want.

TinyURL

URL shortener, free

 

You choose short address

Depends where you put it.

None

 

GetMyID

Bracelet ($6 and up).

Stickers ($9)

Tag ($43)

Web.

QR code.

Phone.

7-number code and 4-number pin

(example)

Bracelet: hidden inside.

Sticker: depends where you put it.

Tag: You can hide it in your wallet/purse or on a chain under your shirt.

A+ BBB.

Amazon 4

Yes, you can store documents for $24/year.

DocuBank

Wallet card ($55/year

$175/5yrs)

Web.

Phone.

6-number code and 4-number pin

Hidden in wallet

A+ BBB

Yes, documents are included in the basic $55/yr or $35/yr.

Universal Medical-ID (American Medical ID no longer offers new online files)

Tag, charm or bracelet ($27 and up) No online file for new US items after September 2018

Outside US:

Web.

Phone.

6-number code

(UK example)

Tag: You can hide it in your wallet/purse or on a chain under your shirt.

Bracelet: engrave inside or outside

A BBB

None in US. Up to 5 megabytes, no annual fee in Australia, Canada, UK

 

The following services do not store documents, such as Advance Directives

Dynotag

Tag ($25) or sticker ($7)

Web.

QR code.

You choose short name which is part of web address

Depends where you put it.

No BBB.

Amazon 4

No

SmartKidsID

Bracelet, Tag or image ($8) to print anywhere

QR code.

Phone.

6-character mix of letters and numbers

Tag: You can hide it in your wallet/purse or on a chain under your shirt.

Bracelet: visible on outside of bracelet.

No BBB.

Amazon 4

No

MyIDSquare

Tag ($43) plus $25/year after first year

Web.

QR code.

6-7-letter code

Depends where you put it.

None

No, only contact person for it

 

Other Comments:

 

You need to store everything yourself too, in case a company goes out of business.

 

MyIDSquare (and GetMyID if you pay $2/month) have a button when medics reach their sites, to send email and text to your emergency contacts.

 

Dynotag, SmartKidsID and MyIDSquare tell you the GPS location where your QR code was read.

 

Docubank stores your medical directive and medicine list, one emergency contact, medical conditions and allergies. You can also upload documents with any other information, like doctors, hospital, and pharmacy.

 

GetMyID is owned by Endevr.com, which used to be LifeStrength.com, which had an A+ rating from BBB. They have a video from the Corona CA Fire Department

 

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