Medical ID Bracelets and Alert Systems – Should we keep it simple? Is the USB too complicated?

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ford brewer md mph
What about the Epic Medical ID bracelet? It has a USB which can be plugged into a device by emergency medical providers. I have been and ER doc and the medical director of more than one EMS systems. I do agree with having the bracelets. They help. But I don’t like the idea of a USB necklace. Here’s why:
1. emergency medical treatment is provided in chaotic, uncontrolled situations. Having to hook up a usb AND read that information will further complicate and an already complicated situation;
2. the information that we truly need in emergency situations is simple, not complicated requiring USB-level storage. We need drug and environmental allergies, medications that could cause bleeding or hypoglycemia.
Please note that these are simple medical ID bracelets. Medical Alert Systems are far more complicated. Consumer Reports describes the components of Medical Alerts as:
* it works for a patient’s specific disability;
*If offers a choice of neck or wrist band or both;
* includes wall mounted help buttons;
* base station can be contacted from anywhere on the property;
* certified by UL or other quality certification systems;
* it has a battery back-up in case of loss of power;
*the company has it’s own monitoring center in the US.
About Dr. Brewer – Ford Brewer is a physician that started as an Emergency Doctor. After seeing too many patients coming in dead from early heart attacks, he went to Johns Hopkins to learn Preventive Medicine. He went on the run the post-graduate training program (residency) in Preventive Medicine at Hopkins. From there, he made a career of practicing and managing preventive medicine and primary care clinics. His later role in this area was Chief Medical Officer for Premise, which has over 500 primary care/ prevention clinics. He was also the Chief Medical Officer for MDLIVE, the second largest telemedicine company. More recently, he founded PrevMed, a heart attack, stroke, and diabetes prevention clinic. At PrevMed, we focus on heart attack and stroke and Type 2 diabetes prevention by reducing or eliminating risk through attentive care and state-of-the-art genetic testing, imaging, labs and telemedicine options. We serve patients who have already experienced an event as well as those have not developed a diagnosis or event. Our team of senior clinicians includes internationally recognized leaders in the research and treatment of cardiovascular disease, preventive medicine and wellness. We also provide preventive medicine by telemedicine technology to over 30 states. Contact Dr. Brewer at or visit


Peter Weatherby says:

Good 'ole RoadID is what my wife and I workout with. One time my wife went down when she hit gravel on a turn. She was unconscious and some Good Samaritans transported her to the nearest hospital. I got a call and drove like a madman to the hospital and witnessed concussion symptoms when I walked in her bay in the ER and she looked at me with no recognition in her eyes as to who I was. That was pretty terrifying, but gratefully it passed quickly. Anyway, on the RoadID, I was getting ready to offer our insurance, etc. info, and the hospital representative said, "Oh we got all that off her RoadID, we already have all we need!" Awesome! I was glad I had put our insurance company name and ID numbers on the RoadID!

John Lorscheider says:

Thanks for that video. I bought the Epic-id bracelet with the USB flash drive along with the optional engraved metal alert tag. I think your right that simpler is better. I wouldnt want first responders to be fumbling to find a device to plug the USB flash drive into when someone is having a major event.

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