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OPINION: Apple Emergency Medical ID Health App.

September 12, 2015

Matthew Vasey MD

Department of Emergency Medicine, Tampa General Hospital | Teamhealth, an affiliate of University of South Florida

Disclosure: Opinions reflect neither employer nor affiliated institutions, soley those of the author.

I was fortunate to interview with ABC's Christie Post for the Now Tampa Bay on the topic of Apple's iOS8 Emergency Medical ID Health App. The purpose of this NYJSM entry is to elaborate beyond the practical limitations of time constrained television media platform and delve into a more creative world of insight on NYJSM than the usual posted 2D model.

As a society we find ourselves amidst the 21st century healthcare renaissance. Rapid changes are developing within the spectrum of healthcare from 'capito-political' implementation to technological utilization to biochemical innovation and nearly everything in between. Looking retrospectively at economic sectors in parallel one may assume we are evolving towards a powerful oligopoly of healthcare enterprise, quantum advancement in breakthrough of disease regression toward quality of lifespan expansion and seamlessly rapid but possibly pathologic impulsive delivery. It is easy to see where the patient and practicing everyday doctor will be seated in back.

An enormous allocation of responsibility appears to be transitioning to the consumer of healthcare, just as defined benefit has transitioned to defined contribution in personal finance and as value in higher education becomes more elusive. This Emergency Medical ID app may represent the proverbial 'tip of the iceberg' in the patient centric model. While romantically discussed during our interview, the formula of law for a life saved has not been proven. If the quality of a decision cannot be solely judged based on its outcome as Warren Buffet says then we could assume it is an equal challenge to prove a life has not been saved. Taking ownership of your health and furthering your healthcare education will be a powerful tool in this new system where information can be the rate limiting step both for the physician and the patient.

Looking again traditionally at the Apple's iOS8 Emergency Medical ID Health App, the most useful feature as I interpret is the ability to provide information when you can not due to illness and disease. Certainly, accurate allergies, medications, medical history, surgical history, informal organ donor wishes, existing physician network information, perhaps most importantly emergency contact information could potentially optimize care and ultimately your outcome in a health emergency.

Please consider sharing this NYJSM content, it could save a life.

Learn more about the Apple Emergency Medical ID Health App:

Learn more about the similar Android ICE: In Case of Emergency App:

View the original ABC the Now Tampa Bay segment: on Social Media