The advancement of technology inevitably seeps into all facets of our lives. Endevr offered me a chance to experience the MyID Cadence from their line of MyID bracelets, to get an idea of what’s available in the ever-growing community of health-centric tech options. The bracelet is designed to be fashionable and readily available in the case that you’re ever in a situation where a first responder needs information about you, but nobody is available to offer it.
The way it works is that the MyID Sleek has a QR Code printed underneath a metal band, acting as a sleeve for the actual rubber bracelet -- the comfortable part. An emblem on the top indicating MyID is what a first responder keys in on in order to identify that the wearer, but it’s not so large that just anybody can read it and identify the bracelet as a “medical device”.
In fact, the design of the MyID Cadence is pretty damned stylish, particularly with the color palette tested, the black and gray model. Other options exist for those looking to match their own style, a wonderful decision considering nobody, particularly those who this is marketed at, wants to wear an ugly piece of jewelry, regardless of its intended use.
The design, as previously mentioned, is simply a metal sleeve that slides over a durable rubber band. For those that have immediate medical concerns, nut allergies for instance, “conditional sliders” can be purchased that are immediately identifiable. That way the first responder knows that you are hearing impaired, have diabetes, or even if you’re prone to seizures. It’s an interesting addition to the product, but one that can defeat the entire purpose of the most important information packed within the QR code. Additionally, it can make your private information far more public (it’s easily readable) and each one costs $4.99 each, an added expense you don’t really need.
The biggest question with the MyID product, regardless of which model you wear, is whether a first responder will mistake it for just another piece of of attire. First responder is also considered a vague term. Fire fighters, police officers, paramedics, they’re all considered first responders, so where one may be trained to look for devices like this, the others may not. Additionally, in a situation where a first responder shows up, what priority is identifying the victim? Mike Mejia, police officer from Jay, Maine says, “If they require immediate medical attention, that need would be addressed first. The process of identifying them would be secondary.” Mejia continues, “Usually if the persons identity is unknown I would begin that process when the paramedics arrived and took over.”
Another first responder, Chris Maeurer, a paramedic from Greene County New York says, “It’s not so much a conscious thought that I'd look for a MyID so much as I would come across it in the process of doing a lot of other things for the patient.” So while first responders can certainly benefit from the information attached to your MyID, it’s not necessarily a priority, nor should it be.
Maeurer also speaks about the training paramedics receive and whether a MyID (or similar device) is something that they’re trained to spot, “Sadly, its pretty rare that we actually run into any of these notification devices, but of course its a trend we'd like to see grow because it does help us. MyID is not something I've come across in any training classes that I can remember and as such it would really be dependent on the individual EMT or Paramedic as to whether they are A) educated about the device and/or B) have the app on their phone to read the information on it. As of yet, it has not become so popular that my company (or any that I know of) has any equipment or devices issued to read the information on something like the MyID.”
For those purchasing the $40.00 MyID Cadence or any of the other bracelets, you’re able to put enough information into your profile so that you have one emergency contact and one medical condition. In order to list allergies, medications, physicians, and other important information, users are required to pay $10.00/year.
Stylish and handy, the MyID Cadence is important to have and can save your life in emergency situations. Priced at $40.00 and requiring an additional $10.00 per year has this hardware falling in the category of, “Nice to have, not a necessity.” While it may be important for people who have immediate medical issues that should be made available to any who would lend assistance, the price and lack of features make this overpriced. With first responders not being explicitly trained to look for MyID-like devices and because it relies on a simple QR code, something easily created by anybody with an internet connection, you’re overpaying.