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Image Codes Convey Health Information in Medical Emergencies

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 13 Feb 2013
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Image: Example of the ScanMed QR code of Kevin Tollison (Photo courtesy of ScanMed QR).
Image: Example of the ScanMed QR code of Kevin Tollison (Photo courtesy of ScanMed QR).
A new medical alert product allows emergency responders to access and retrieve the owner’s vital medical information by scanning a graphic quick response (QR) code.

The ScanMed QR CardSuite grants the user to ability to create and produce a medical alert profile that includes demographic data, drug allergies, existing medical conditions, emergency contact information, and much more. Unlimited profiles can be generated to create unique, QR-branded identification cards, wristbands, zipper tags, and key tags. The information can also be edited and changed dynamically, which ensures that responders and medical staff have the most accurate information available instantly.

But unlike an electronic medical record (EMR) which is typically set up and maintained by hospital networks or private physicians, the ScanMed QR allows the users to create and customize their own personal electronic health record (EHR), using a smartphone or personal computer to generate the QR code. Scanning the code leads to the personal health profile of the user, located on the proprietary website. The ScanMed QR CardSuite is a product of ScanMed QR (Oklahoma City, OK, USA).

“We’ve removed the barriers so that anyone now has the ability to create, list, change or update important emergency information for family and friends that could be affected by a potentially debilitating health condition, or those with an active lifestyle that might require medical attention in the event of an emergency,” said Victoria Bill, vice president and cofounder of ScanMed QR. “We can market them to national pharmacy chains, as well as make them available without limitations to any organization that hosts running, biking, or other types of fundraising events.”

QR codes are a type of matrix barcode, which offers fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square grid on a white background. The information encoded may be made up of four standardized types of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte / binary, and Kanji), or through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data.

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