Like millions of people, I have a chronic health condition. And like many others, I wear a medical alert bracelet to tell emergency responders the basic details in order to speed (or avoid) treatment. But there’s only so much information that this little tag can convey, and it’s static. My emergency contact phone number has changed, but I have not gotten around to paying to get a new plate made for my bracelet. A company in the UK thinks it has a better solution.
Tap2Tag makes a variety of devices that use near-field communications (NFC) to convey a unique ID number that then can be used to access a person’s medical data on the Internet. (The ID is also printed on the device so that it can be manually entered at a website.) They make key fobs and a credit-card-sized alert, but the one that I think I’d wear is the Silicone Bracelet. It looks much like the affinity bracelets that people wear to support all manner of causes, with a circular medallion embedded in it. It looks a bit like a watch.
You enter your data online in your personal profile. If someone else comes enters your ID, they will receive your basic information (name, address, etc.) If they want to access your medical data (as in the case of an emergency), they need to log in using their Twitter or other supported account, or register to access your data. This only takes moments, but establishes a record of who has accessed your information, and when.
One great feature about any the Tap2Tag product is that you only have to tap it with a smartphone that has compatible NFC support. The device uses RFID technology and does not require any power of its own, so there are no batteries to replace. And as a bonus, it will also automatically send a text message or email to your emergency contact whenever it is activated.
The Tap2Tag products are only sold in the UK at this point; the bracelet sells for £12 (about US$20) which is competitive with a typical engraved medical alert bracelet. There is no subscription fee, and the company says that the service should work anywhere in the world that has Internet access.