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Friday, July 1, 2022

Life-saving NFC: SOS-ICE launched at Arctic15

Imagine the following: you have a serious medical condition (could be epilepsy, a severe type 1 diabetes, or even an extreme allergy to nuts for example) and you get an attack that requires immediate emergency treatment.

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You arrive to the ER and doctors are trying to figure out what’s wrong; the faster they’re able to give proper treatment, the quicker you’ll get better. Basically every second counts.It’s common for people with pre-existing, high risk medical conditions to wear some kind of identity bracelets with basic medical details. However, there’s only so much information such a bracelet can hold.

Data being a field of knowledge tech companies are getting better at with every passing day, it’s not a question of how to increase data storage capacity, but rather who’s going to do it. In this particular case, it would be Innovamo, a Helsinki based startup that launched its first healthcare service offering called SOS-ICE at the Arctic15 conference last week. They also won the event’s launch competition, making them the most attractive out of all the companies that launched at the event, as decided by the judges.

The SOS-ICE takes advantage of data exchanged through NFC check ins (much like the check in app we had in Arctic15 works). In practice, this means that emergency medical professionals could tap on the SOS-ICE accessory and retrieve the customer’s relevant medical information in a matter of seconds. This information wouldn’t focus on just the most basic stuff normal bracelets can easily handle, but information such as details of medications, relevant medical history or personal treatment wishes for example.

“We are addressing a known problem, but modernizing the solution with today’s technology,” says John Caesar, founder and General Manager of Innovamo.

The service is available to consumers on an annual subscription basis, which also includes one wearable accessory and access to the online service portal. Currently, a one year subscription goes for €30, two for €40 and three for €50.

Customers can freely decide what is relevant data and how much of it they wish to disclose.

What the value of such a solution truly is will, as with most innovations, depend on the scale of its distribution and demand. Will people get hyped up about this? Does the bracelet look good enough when worn? How important personal treatment wishes actually are once we find ourselves in life threatening emergency situations?

We definitely see potential to save lives here. However, tricky situations could emerge if, for example, the receiving ER has no clue how the bracelet works or what it’s there for.

It’ll be difficult to make those important seconds count if you get stucked downloading apps in the midst of giving patients first aid treatment.

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Raf is a tall, lanky Finn wandering in the UK academic landscapes. With an MA in Psychology (University of Aberdeen) he's taken his penchant for brain studies a step further by embarking on a MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. Long-time lurker and contributor at AS, always hungry for fresh story leads in Tech/Espionage/the Absurd.

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