Paramedic creates electronic medical alert bracelet
The Code4Armour band aims to provide paramedics with up-to-date medical information on the spot, leading to more informed patient care
In his 13 years as a paramedic, not once did Code4Armour creator Mark Litman take the time to locate a patient’s medical alert band, call up the number on the back and wait for the information.
“By that time, you’re patient is dead,” Litman said. “I realized there’s got to be a better way.”
That led to the creation of Code4Armour, an electronic app-based medical alert band that, when tapped with a smartphone, provides patient information on the screen and through the speakers of the device via the company’s VitalSpeak technology.
The fact that the information is broadcast through a speaker lets EMTs and paramedics continue working on the patient hands-free, Litman said.
The alert bracelet is a waterproof and shockproof silicone band embedded with a chip that makes patient information accessible over the internet within seconds after tapping it with a smartphone or tablet.
Litman said customers control their medical profiles, which can include basics like name, age, weight, blood type and health insurance, down to details on life-threating or life-altering conditions, medications, legal documents like organ donor cards and documents like X-rays, ECGs and CT scans.
Users also have the ability to elaborate on the information. For instance, if an autistic child is known to have a tantrum when touched by a stranger, a mother can program that in. And that’s something a medic would otherwise not know, Litman said.
The Code4Armour band can be scanned at walk-in-clinics, by doctors and specialists, by responders and by anyone on the street.
What about HIPAA?
Code4Armour is designed with specific privacy features so as not to violate HIPAA, Litman said.
Users are able to control which information is public versus private. The public data is available to anyone who downloads the app and can be particularly helpful in a situation where, for instance, someone with Alzheimer’s is lost and an emergency contact has been made public, Litman said.
To access the private data, responders must register and be verified through a separate portal site, restricting the confidential information to authorized health care providers.
Code4Armour also has a customizable time limit for how long that patient information is visible on the device and has options in place to deactivate the ability to take a screen capture.
Hitting the market soon
Code4Armour has been in the works since 2009, and Litman plans to launch it in the U.S. in November at the EMS World Expo trade show in Nashville, Tenn.
He said they’re also doing a crowdfunding campaign at the end of September and are talking with a county in Florida about using it as part of an EMS pilot program that may eventually be introduced to firefighters and police. Responders will complete a free, online training program to learn how to use the app and band, and a marketing team will simultaneously reach out to the general public in the same area.
“We can’t sell it without EMS services knowing how to use it,” Litman said.
The bands cost $20, with a subscription of $3 per month or $36 per year. They come in a variety of shapes and colors.