First Responders Soon Can Access Patients’ Health Histories

MedicAlert is partnering with a company that enables patient health data to be directly transmitted to first responders during an emergency.

MedicAlert is working with RapidSOS, which has a platform that links any connected device to 911 and other first responders. The goal is to better respond to vulnerable patients who wear MedicAlert IDs engraved with critical information about the patient.

The partnership will enable vital health information to be transmitted directly to first responders in the event of an emergency, giving them more comprehensive health profiles, as well as accurate location data. That will help save critical minutes during emergencies, and contribute to faster responses and better-prepared public safety officials.

Under the program, patients sign up to get a MedicAlert bracelet and then can submit any information they want responders to know about their medical condition and history, such as pre-existing conditions, as well as physician names, addresses, phone numbers, family members and other emergency contacts.

That information is transmitted to RapidSOS, which digitizes the information and puts it in a database, says Michael Martin, CEO at RapidSOS.

When a patient is in need, the health and personal information is digitally available to 911 personnel through the computer system in the ambulance so they can immediately start treatment.

The partnership of MedicAlert and RapidSOS came about as RapidSOS learned that the best information is relevant information from patients and MedicAlert had that information, while RapidSOS had the technology to store the information and have it available when needed, according to Martin.

“For both companies, this lets the right data to appear in the right place at the right time,” Martin says. “If a MedicAlert patient calls 911, we query MedicAlert, and data is pulled into 911 systems.”

Mobile apps play a large role in the partnership to speed help to those who need it, especially since so many people now carry a phone that’s capable of supporting mobile apps.

Consequently, responders have an emergency location app that provides the precise location when a 911 call is made—responders then receive updates along the way to the emergency case.

Another app transmits critical data over Internet Protocols during the emergency, with the data including medical profiles, contacts, sensor information from connected devices and any additional multimedia content.

Any public safety agency can get access to the RapidSOS clearinghouse starting in May, Martin advises.

“For decades, our nation’s 911 professionals have had to respond to emergencies with no data beyond a voice-only connection,” Martin concludes. “This solution with MedicAlert is a milestone for emergency response nationwide as we make lifesaving medical information available to first responders.”

Joseph Goedert
Goedert is senior editor of Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.Wednesday, May 1, 2019