The Ergohacks Verdict
If you’ve a chronic health condition or a condition that is hidden it’s good practice to carry ID that lists your conditions. Medic Alert is a system which most people are at least peripherally aware of. The idea is low tech and simple – wear a tag on a bracelet or necklace with an Asclepius symbol on the front and on the back a couple of lines of text listing your conditions and a code number. The code number can be then be quoted by medical staff to get more information without having to work through the normal byzantine NHS systems.
It’s a simple idea that has gotten widespread recognition and adoption by the chronically ill. Most especially it works well for those who have invisible conditions or those that can turn life-threatening very quickly such as bee sting anaphylaxis.
MedicAlert run a two-step system. Become a member and they will keep a database of your most important information – your conditions and details, your contact details, next of kin and emergency contacts and your doctor and medical personnel details. Once you’re a member you can order jewellery. The jewellery is engraved with your name, a couple of lines detailing your condition and your membership ID number.
If you get into an accident the ID tells paramedics or the public the most crucial information and the paramedics can get more detailed information by calling the twenty-four hour number on the ID.
It’s rare that I can be so clear about a product. If you have a chronic medical condition that’s not immediately visible such as diabetes, bee sting allergy or asthma you should have some way to let everyone know if something goes wrong. Wearing a single piece of jewelry is a very simple way to do that and whilst the membership cost isn’t quite as low as could be ideal, it’s not too bad. The range of necklaces and bands is wide enough that most people will find something they like and after several years use I can attest as to how hard wearing they are. Essential.
Buy it from MedicAlert +
Being a MedicAlert Member costs £32 a year (annual direct debit £29.50) and added to that is the cost of the Jewelry. This goes from £10 up to several hundred pounds.
The MedicAlert Foundation is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the lives of our members via our membership service and custom-made medical ID jewellery. They set up in the California in the 1950s and have expanded quickly ever since.
To get the most of out the system you need to be willing to have MedicAlert hold at least a simplified copy of your medical records and you need to keep them updated with any significant changes.
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on over five years of use of a Medequip necklace and 2 months of a bracelet. This article was first published on 29 July 2017.