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Medicine Technology

Using QR Codes To Save Lives 171

itwbennett writes "Paramedics in Marin County, California, may soon be putting QR codes to lifesaving use. According to an IDG News Service report, 'Lifesquare, a Silicon Valley start-up, has partnered with two emergency response agencies in Marin County to run a year-long pilot program. Lifesquare wants residents to input personal information about their medications into its website, then place corresponding QR code stickers where emergency responders can scan them with an iPhone.' The first hurdle: Getting people to put the sensitive information online. 'The way that we look at is that people already put their information into their driver's license, that's owned by the government, people put their information into credit card company's and that's owned by private corporations,' said Ryan Chamberlain, director of public outreach at Lifesquare."
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Using QR Codes To Save Lives

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @03:10AM (#40177281)

    instead of printing a QR code there?

  • this is stupid (Score:5, Interesting)

    by s.t.a.l.k.e.r._loner ( 2591761 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @04:03AM (#40177555)
    I work in the healthcare field, and I can assure you that at least 95% of people don't even bother to keep an updated written list of their medications in their purse or wallet. The tiny minority of people who would even CARE to input their information and keep a QR code sticker handy are the same people who know their medications/doses, so do not even need this service. The only way this could possibly work is if each person used only one pharmacy ever, AND if the pharmacy was allowed to provide this information to anybody with the software to scan the QR code (a very dicey proposition, given that HIPAA outlaws access to "protected health information"), AND if everyone was willing to carry something with this QR code on them at all times. I can tell you right now, I wouldn't carry anything extra, so unless the QR code is added to my drivers license I won't have one with me.
  • by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @06:16AM (#40178025)

    In North America, we have the MedicAlert system... bracelet or necklace that you can wear, it has a recognizable logo and on the other side a file number is engraved. Medical professionals need to call in and give the file number in order to get the information.

    I prefer it, because it's actually engraved, so less likely to disappear. Correct me if I'm wrong, but engraving a QR code into metal would be a pain in the butt, and even if you could do it accurately enough, a cell phone camera wouldn't be good enough to read it....

  • Bracelet problems (Score:2, Interesting)

    by coyote_oww ( 749758 ) on Friday June 01, 2012 @01:01PM (#40181715)

    I had a Medicalert braclet till it was cut off of me - I need to get a new one but haven't gotten around to it. I like the QR code idea, basically because the bracelet doesn't have enough space to contain complete and accurate information. Additionally, the info changes periodically, so using a pointer to an actual data store makes a certain amount of sense.

    You want only the most critical info, most likely to be important info on the bracelet in text - e.g. hemophiliac, HIV positive, severe alergies, reactive drugs, transplants, etc.

    Privacy be damned, it's your life at stake, and frankly, no one else cares about your allergies. Dying because the medics couldn't find out you were allergic in a timely fashion because they were getting through secuity mechanisms would be really stupid.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court