by Robert Dunivin, EMSCI #205
Los Angeles (CA) Fire Department
As I write this article, I am trying to decide whether it is a product review or a training alert for public safety responders. That’s because whether this product is something that would interest you as a cyclist or outdoor sportsperson or not, as a first responder, you should be aware of this product and know how to identify and use it for a patient’s best interest.
The EPIC-id is a USB Emergency ID that is worn on the wrist like a medic alert tag or other ID tag. The difference is that the EPIC-id stores pertinent medical and emergency contact info electronically on/in the bracelet. It is basically like a wrist-worn flash drive. The clasp is the USB connection. In an emergency, first responders can connect the EPIC-id to their on-board computers and access your medical information. Once you input your medical information, it stays on the EPIC-id flash drive, not on a computer or on a cloud. No software to download and no subscriptions to pay.
The EPIC-id has a saltwater-safe USB and is PC- and MAC-compatible. It has a stainless steel Click-Secure Closure™ and a custom fit, hypoallergenic silicone band (you basically cut it to fit). The Epic-id only comes in three colors: red, black, and white. The metal closure is marked with a red cross and the USB symbol. You have the option for a custom ID tag to be attached to the band. The cost ranges from $30.00 to $40.00, plus $15.00 for the optional custom ID tag.
The information page contains fields for emergency contact information, a photo, and a physical description. There are tabs for doctor contact details, blood type, and medical issues, including medications and allergies. There are also blocks for special instructions.
To me, it is as comfortable as wearing a watch. It was easy to input my information, and easy to update. Among the few problems I encountered, the first time I connected it to a computer, it didn’t just automatically pop up; I had to search for it. I did not try it in an Apple device, just a PC. I also was unable to access the data on our Panasonic Tough Pads, which are the platform for our ePCR’s (Electronic Patient Care Reporting), or our apparatus Mobile Dispatch Computer. This is not the fault of the device; it is because our department has locked out the USB ports. For us, this creates difficulty in gaining access to the patient’s information on scene; however, if the patient is transported to the hospital, they will be able to access it on their computers. Not all agencies lock out their USB ports, so it is important to know if yours are. I will be contacting our administrators to work on a fix for our computers so that we can access the devices on scene of an incident.
So like I said in the beginning, whether you are interested in purchasing this type of device for personal use or not, as a first responder, you should at least be aware of it and how it is used. It is a good tool to have for the “John Doe” victim you may encounter.
Currently EPIC-id is not on the Product Purchase Program; however, you can order it online at EPIC-id.com or you can find them at Brookstone, Meijer, and the Sharper Image.
Bob holds the rank of Engineer with the Los Angeles Fire Department and has been a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department Bike Medic Team since 2004. He has been an IPMBA Instructor since 2008. Bob currently serves on the Industry Relations and EMS Committees for IPMBA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2016 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of IPMBA News.