Program uses quick response codes to save lives
By Deborah Ince | Daily Times Correspondent
Maryville resident and president of ERMedStat Scott Gray has invented and patented a new innovative solution that uses quick response codes to provide emergency first responders with critical patient medical information.
The ERMedStat program uses a system of customizable QR codes to access individuals’ personal and medical information via smart phone or mobile number.
After speaking with longtime friend Dr. Brenda Walther, trauma doctor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, about the problems with retrieving patients’ medical information in the emergency room, Gary wanted to find a solution.
“Sixty-five thousand people die every year in hospital ERs because of one thing: lack of patient medical information,” Gray said. “People roll into the emergency room all day long, and they’re unconscious, they’re confused, they’re disoriented, they can’t speak for themselves. So that’s what we do. We speak for them.”
Each ERMedStat member is given a key tag, wallet card, refrigerator magnet and several reflective stickers containing his or her individualized QR code. In the event of an emergency, first responders are trained to check for the items and scan them with their smart phones to retrieve patient information.
If an individual does not have a smart phone, he or she can use ERMedStat’s alternate mobile application or call the 800 number printed on all ERMedStat items to verbally receive patient information.
Gray expresses strong belief in the efficiency of the program.
“It will not fail,” Gray said. “It’s a foolproof system. The beauty in this is every single person is a candidate. If you were injured, it’s a better way to identify you.”
To become an ERMedStat member, individuals simply visit the program’s website — http://ermedstat.com — and enroll by answering a number of critical medical information questions such as age, allergies, medications and language. Members can add as much or as little additional information as they like. Membership rates are offered yearly at $24 and monthly at $3 per month.
Gray also assures that there is no chance of identity theft with the program.
“There’s no chance of identity theft because we don’t collect Social Security numbers, we don’t collect driver’s license numbers. We don’t care about that,” Gray said. “What we care about is emergency care medicine to save your life.”
Individuals can change the information on their card as often as they want, and the QR code will automatically update for them.
“It’s a simple concept,” Gray said. “Doctors love it, hospitals love it. It solves a real problem in medicine. It really does. This has never been done, and it’s going crazy. It’s growing nationally. It’s growing rapidly ... I’ve never hear a negative. Everyone’s like, ‘Why didn’t I think of this?’”
Nearly 3,000 members
Since the program’s launch in January 2012, membership is approaching 3,000, spanning states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Hawaii.
The program also recently began a radio campaign that airs eight times a day on shows such as the “Hallerin Hilton Morning Show,” “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” “The Sean Hannity Show” and “The Phil Williams Show.” Gray hopes the program will expand enough in the upcoming years to become a household name.
Current ERMedStat member Mike Schultz said he is satisfied with his decision to enroll in the program.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Schultz said. “If you don’t have the ability to talk, they can scan your card and have your information right at their fingertips. It’s all there, so they have better information than just your driver’s license. For instance, I ride my bike. If I get hit, they’ll have my information. It’s good for everyone to have.”
For kids, too
Lois Gregory, mother of two and a second-grade teacher at Foothills Elementary School, said she believes ERMedStat is an effective tool.
“It’s user friendly, easy to set up,” Gregory said. “It’s good knowing that if I had a wreck or something happened to me, it would speak for me. As a school teacher, I think it’s a wonderful idea. When you have a classroom of 20 students, it’s a good thing for us to have in an emergency situation.”
Gregory also said that she and her husband may purchase ERMedStat memberships for their 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter in the near future.
“Doctors say we need it, first responders say we need it,” Gray said. “The whole point is to save more lives ... When you can’t speak for yourself, ERMedStat speaks for you.”