The “difference between life and death” is how a small feature saving paramedics vital time when attending a patient in an emergency is being described.
SafeMate gives first responders fast access to encrypted medical and personal information that can play a key role in helping paramedics to treat a patient effectively.
Someone passionate about advocating for the cause is Maleny’s Leanne Clarke. After her mother collapsed at her house on two separate occasions, she found herself unable to help paramedics with important medical information.
“My mum has passed out twice at my place, and the paramedic were quizzing me on what medication she was taking,” Ms Clarke says.
“It was really stressful for me because there was Mum on the ground and [the paramedics] were firing all these questions at me and I just went blank.”
After what happened to her mother, Ms Clarke began searching for something that provided first responders with the information they needed.
She discovered SafeMate, a subscription-based company, which uses QR codes on a patient identification card, sticker or silicone bracelet.
Generic information can be attached to a profile online, which is accessible to the general public, while more specific medial information can be accessed only by paramedics thanks to a partnership with Queensland Ambulance Service.
“This can be the difference between life or death, or full or partial recovery,” Ms Clarke says.
“Anyone can scan and access the public information. It could say ‘call my husband – this is his number’, or ‘I am a diabetic’.
“Then private information with specific information on medications and medical history is information only QAS needs to know.
“For me it was a very simple process of uploading all Mum’s medical information, medications, allergies, past operations and next-of-kin details into her SafeMate profile.
“I can now rest assured that if something happened again to Mum, the paramedics could scan the card and all the information that they need is right there.”
Ms Clarke, who now works as Queensland’s business development manager for SafeMate, says a QR sticker can be placed at the front door, meaning first responders can have the information they need before they are even inside with a patient.
“We have paramedics give us feedback on how they find using SafeMate and the feedback we are receiving is wonderful.
“They are saying it is saving between five and 10 minutes … which is the difference between life and death.”
As part of her role, Ms Clarke collaborates with senior citizen groups, various medical organisations and NDIS providers to ensure clients know about the product.