Tap2Tag, the Bristol-based tech start-up in the UK, has launched a potentially life-saving new product which, in an emergency, provides first responders and paramedics with instant access to a patient's medical history via internet-enabled smart phones.
Anyone can benefit from Tap2Tag Medical. However, for those with known medical conditions, the elderly or anyone taking prescribed drugs, it will be particularly useful and, potentially, life-saving.
The Tap2Tag2 Medical device is simple, low-cost and can easily be used by anyone. A typical Tap2Tag Medical user wears a wristband, similar to popular rubber charity wristbands. Others prefer key fobs, or credit card-sized cards, or even to display a sticker in their home.
Each device is embedded with technology known as NFC (near-field communication) designed for use with mobile phones (most, but not all, smart phones already have this technology and it's anticipated that, by the end of 2014, virtually all new smart phones will have it – Apple iPhones are a current exception).
In an emergency, for example when someone collapses, after calling the emergency services any passer-by or neighbour with an NFC-enabled mobile phone can just tap the patient's device and, within a couple of clicks, gain instant access to medical information the wearer has chosen to disclose, such as:
- Known medical conditions
- Medications they need
- Any message, for example: "I have a heart condition. Spray is in my bag. Spray once in my mouth then wait for paramedics."
- Organ donation status
- Date of birth
- Blood group
- Photograph (to confirm identity).
Even if the first-responder hasn't activated the Tap2Tag Medical, the paramedics can do so on arrival, gaining potentially life-saving information about the patient.
Additionally, when the device is tapped and activated by NFC, and the situation is verified as being an emergency, it can also send instant messages to designated family members or carers to let them know the user is experiencing a difficulty. These notifications can be by text or email.
It's important to point out that no data is stored on the device itself. Each tag has a unique code, against which information is stored on a secure website. The user controls (and updates as necessary) all data and chooses what, and what not, to include.
You can find out more about how the system works in this YouTube video below: