SafeMate Saves Lives
This Australian-owned and operated product is improving patient outcomes by providing paramedics and first responders with immediate access to a person’s vital medical information.
When it comes to administering emergency treatments, every second counts. SafeMate is an Australian-owned and operated product that improves patient outcomes by providing paramedics and first responders with immediate access to a person’s vital medical information at an accident or emergency scene.
“If something does happen, you just hold out your wrist. It removes the stress of having to remember things when you’re feeling unwell.”
Ms Leanne Clarke, Business Development Manager at SafeMate, says SafeMate is simple to use and has been endorsed by the Qld Ambulance Service (QAS), who have used the product since 2017.
Paramedics scan the QR code on a patient’s card, key tag, phone or wristband on arrival at the emergency location. Each code is unique and linked to a secure profile that conveys salient information about the patient’s health and medications. The data is instantly transmitted to paramedics, who can tailor faster, more informed treatments to the patient.
“It has been proven to save paramedics up to ten minutes in an emergency situation,” said Leanne.
The SafeMatekit contains a wallet-sized card, two key tags and three stickers for placement in a highly visible location, such as a front door, mobility aid or phone, and an optional wristband containing a QR code.
Members select the medical information they wish to share, such as medical history, emergency contacts, medications, and allergies. QAS paramedics can call next of kin, family members, doctors, and specialists and honour end-of-life wishes regarding organ donation at the patient’s discretion.
Leanne says there are options to include personal information of importance, citing a client who added details of her assistance dog to her profile. During a medical incident, SafeMate alerted paramedics about how essential her dog was to her health, meaning both she and her dog could be transported to the hospital together, assisting her recovery.
Unlike alert bracelets and smartphone medical IDs, the SafeMate database can only be accessed by individuals with security authenticator clearance, such as certified Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics and those approved by the client.
With security being a topical concern, Leanne advises that SafeMate clients have the confidence of knowing that they retain total control and ownership of their information, as the system is not linked to Doctors’ records or MyGov.
The product works throughout Queensland wherever there is Wi-Fi. There are also options to use the system interstate, with plans to roll it out nationwide.
The only maintenance the system requires is that clients keep their medical information up to date. That’s easily managed by a phone call or logging into the SafeMate website. The cost of SafeMate is claimable under the NDIS and My Aged Care Plans for eligible people.
According to Leanne, almost every new client purchases an optional waterproof Fitbit-style wristband ($15) for convenience, as this can be comfortably worn on the wrist 24/7.
“It removes the stress of remembering medical information or carrying around bits of paper when you are unwell,” says Leanne, “If something does happen, you just hold out your wrist.”
Suitable for any age, from young children with allergies and medical conditions to older people living at home or receiving palliative care, SafeMate can benefit individuals who work in high-risk occupations and dementia patients who are prone to wandering.
The product is ideal for families and caregivers of vulnerable people with a sensory impairment, a disability, diabetes, complex health conditions or long lists of medications.
“It results in the patient being treated the right way, right away and reduces patient, family and paramedic stress and confusion at the time of an emergency,” says Leanne.
SafeMate is particularly helpful for older people who have fallen and may have hit their heads. When unwell, frightened, or in pain, it can be bewildering for a patient to answer questions about health and medications.
“Clients who are unable to talk just point to their wristbands which gives the paramedics instant access to the information they want them to know. It gives the family peace of mind knowing that should something happen when they are not around, SafeMate will speak for them and get them the help they need,” said Leanne.
A SafeMate Kit costs $10 per month, and members can cancel anytime due to not being locked into any contracts.
“It doesn’t expire or need batteries or access to power …. it is about providing speed of information to paramedics in an emergency,” says Leanne.