Emergency workers scan qr codes to quickly access healthinformation – Other Series

QR codes are being used for more than just advertisements in MarinCounty, California. There, paramedics hope the stickers could helpsave lives in emergency situations. Lifesquare, a Silicon Valley start-up, has partnered with twoemergency response agencies in Marin County to run a year-longpilot program. Lifesquare wants residents to input personalinformation about their medications into its website, then placecorresponding QR code stickers where emergency responders can scanthem with an iPhone.

The secure link from the sticker will thenprovide paramedics and firefighters with information they needduring a medical response call. Lifesquare said its first task will be to get people to sign up onthe site because of privacy concerns. “The way that we look at is that people already put theirinformation into their driver’s license, that’s owned by thegovernment, people put their information into credit card company’sand that’s owned by private corporations,” said Ryan Chamberlain,director of public outreach at Lifesquare. “Here you own it, youput it into your own profile and nobody else touches it.” Here’s a video of Lifesquare promoting the QR code stickers inMarin County: iframe width=”500″ height=”281″src=”embed/2VLQ6OTBeGQ?rel=0″frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen /iframe Residents can sign themselves up by picking up Lifesquare stickersat a CVS pharmacy.

Ideally, Marin County emergency medicalresponders could then respond to a call about someone feeling sick,scan a QR code on the patient’s bike helmet, for example, and learnwhether or not the patient has a drug allergy or what medicationsthey are taking. “It could benefit so many folks,” said Mike Giannini, Marin CountyFire Department EMS Battalion Chief. “The consumer for the piece ofmind, us for information at the scene, it’s just a time-savingpiece and beyond that it could do so much for health care at a muchlarger, grander scale if physicians embrace it.” Giannini said Lifesquare would improve on the idea he helpedchampion in Marin County about seven years ago, when the departmentstarted promoting “Vials of L.I.F.E,” which were tubes people couldplace in their refrigerator with a list of medications they takeinside. Paramedics in the county already know to checkrefrigerators for this information, but still must enter it byhand, then later enter the same information into a computer. CAT Turbocharger

He believes Lifesquare will take the Vial of L.I.F.E. concept intothe digital age. And besides, he said, people are not always homewhen they need an ambulance. Emergency medical workers in Marin County will access theinformation with the roughly 50 iPhones Lifesquare bought for thecounty. Other Series

Lifesquare said other counties in the Bay area are interested inthe concept, as well as a few others, but it is focusing onpromoting the Marin County pilot right now. To augment the digital information Lifesquare can capture, Gianninisaid the county plans to purchase a new electronic patient carerecord that is being designed to work with Lifesquare’s software.That way, information gathered from stickers at patient’s homeswould not need to be re-entered. “It will improve our operations from a time standpoint, making usthat much more available for the next call,” Giannini said. The electronic system should be in place by the end of 2012. Kerry Davis is a multimedia journalist for IDG News Service. China Mercedes Benz Turbo Kits

Emailher at kerry_davis@idg.com or find her on Twitter at mskerryd.

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