Time is data
Every first responder knows that seconds count. In an emergency medical situation, outcomes often depend on how fast a person can be treated or transported to a hospital. That means when you lose time, you can also lose lives.
Carlos Revilla, an EMT, recognized this and approached Very with an idea that could make emergency response times faster. Typically, EMTs must take the time to understand a patient’s medical history and status before they can determine the best course of action — which can be a challenge, especially if the patient is unconscious or incapacitated. But Carlos wanted to create a platform that securely stores a patient’s medical history, which could be accessed by first responders on their way to an emergency — and allow them to take action the moment they arrive.
Branding and iconography created for First Rescue
A large percentage of these medical emergencies — about 85% — occur among the elderly, specifically at nursing homes and other senior living facilities. And because these facilities typically maintain residents’ medical data, we chose to focus on this space.
So we framed the concept as a “Fitbit for seniors:” essentially, an electronic health record (EHR) would be stored in a wristband adorned with a QR code. Bringing the idea to life was not only an exercise in UX, but in rapid product design. We began by mapping out a very specific flow of information:
- At an institution level (an assisted living facility, for example) the staff will populate and update the QR code wearer's EHR through an online portal.
- The First Rescue App accesses this information via a HIPAA compliant and secure API.
- Upon scanning the QR code (or searching the app by patient name), the app authenticates with a unique Token identifier to each device/first responder, to hit the database with all of the information on a particular patient.
- The app then pulls up the EHR, showing the patient's vital information, including medical conditions, medications, physicians, emergency contacts, DNRs, etc. The first responder can quickly and easily reference this data as they triage.