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This article was published in February 2016. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

Company creates card that holds medical information for quick access in emergency

9 Feb 2016

Emergency Informational Online Technologies (EIO) has created the EIO card to allow quick access to people’s medical information for conditions like epilepsy, diabetes and dementia.

The north-east England-based company intended the card to provide fast information in an emergency or to act as a memory aid for people.

The card costs £4.99 and can be bought from the EIO website. It needs to be registered on thewebsite by entering the activation code that appears on the card. People can then add as much or as little information on the card as they want. This can include any medical conditions, medication information, emergency contacts, next of kin, GP details and any emergency information. The information can be updated at any time free of charge.

The card contains a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip like those that allow bankcards to make contactless payments. This chip can be scanned by any NFC enabled smart phone to access the information.

The company explains that NFC enabled phones are increasingly widespread with the current number of 600-650 million expected to rise. There is also a QR code that can be read by QR readers on many smart phones.

The company explained that the information people upload is kept in a datacentre with bank-standard security. It is SSL certified, meaning that the information is protected from things like eavesdropping and data tampering, according to EIO.

In addition, a smart phone has to be within one or two centimetres to activate the card, so the company explained the information can’t just be ‘picked up’ by a phone nearby. EIO said that there are no additional layers of security, like passwords, because the card’s purpose is to provide quick and easy-to-access information. The company believes the information most people upload includes things that won’t compromise their identities, and say they can freeze an account if the card is lost or stolen.

Simon Blood, EIO commercial director (pictured, left), said: “When the card is held against an NFC enabled smart phone, or the QR code of the card is scanned, people’s information would appear on the phone screen. This could potentially be giving life-saving information to a first responder or even act as a useful memory aid for the user.”


Learning from experience

Mr Blood decided to set up the company when his mother was admitted to hospital, spending five weeks as an inpatient. “I noticed during visiting times that a lot of people had difficulty remembering important information when they were admitted. Their illnesses and the stress of being taken to hospital in an emergency meant many couldn’t remember things like family contact numbers, prescription medications and GP details.

“My mother also has 13 different medications on her prescription. I thought that a way of storing this information could be useful, especially if this could be easily recalled in future visits to the hospital or when required.”

Mr Blood and his colleague and web developer Andrew Seymour (pictured, right) are also planning to develop wristbands and key fobs with the same technology. 


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