- have multiple health issues?
- take several medications?
- take vitamins and / or nutritional supplements?
- see more than one doctor?
- track your blood pressure, blood glucose levels, weight, or other personal statistics?
If you answered, “Yes,” to any of the questions above, the MedicAlert Foundation’s E-HealthKEY should be of interest to you.
What is the E-HealthKEY? The E-HealthKEY is a secure and portable personal health record using USB-flash disc technology (sometimes called a thumb drive). You may have seen these small flash drives called “thumb drives” or “key drives.” In this case, the USB-flash drive has been customized for MedicAlert to securely carry personal health records. The USB connector has been fitted with a safety cap to prevent accidental loss of the cap and damage to the connector. The other end of the drive, as you can see above, can easily be used to attach the E-HealthKEY to your key chain, backpack, purse, or elsewhere for easy accessibility.
How does the E-HealthKEY work? The E-HealthKEY detects when it is plugged into the “home” computer or into an unknown computer. If plugged into an unknown computer, the E-HealthKEY assumes that it is being inserted into a computer of an emergency room (ER) or an ambulance. The application will immediately pull up and present only the critical medical information such as medical conditions, medications, allergies, etc., that the patient/member has previously authorized. In addition to the E-HealthKEY, medical personnel also have access to a patient’s medical record via the MedicAlert 24/7 contact center enabling instant responses, even internationally.
The first time the E-HealthKEY is connected to the home computer, its application installs a small interactive utility program that facilitates interaction with the MedicAlert membership database via the Internet and offers users additional utilities as well. You can:
download your current member information from the MedicAlert database, update it, and upload the updated information.
track information such as blood pressure readings, blood glucose levels, and more.
store medical images such as X-rays, MRI’s, EKG’s, etc.
set up reminders for medical appointments and prescription refills.
print an emergency wallet card.
print copies of your medications and/or other medical information.
In addition to providing your medical records in case of emergency, the E-HealthKEY can also be used to transport your medical records to new doctors and/or clinics. Some doctors who have made the transition to electronic records or who use computers in their offices have also indicated an interest in reviewing the records with the patient and even assisting them in updating them with changes made at their appointments.
Summary The E-HealthKEY is ready to go on any USB-enabled computer running Windows 2000 or Windows XP, which is the vast majority of computers in hospitals and medical offices. With it’s built in application, it requires no other application to access the data it carries. In addition to the basic information of medical conditions, allergies, and medications, the E-HealthKEY can carry virtually our entire medical records including medical images. At home, the E-HealthKEY can be used in a variety of ways to help manage our health and health care. Overall, the E-HealthKEY is a very helpful tool for managing our health care. It’s our medical records at our fingertips. For more information about the E-HealthKEY, visit the MedicAlert web site.
About the MedicAlert Foundation MedicAlert is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1956 with a mission to protect and save lives, is headquartered in the United States, and has international affiliates in nine countries.
Note: This is a product review. I have no financial affiliation with MedicAlert and do not endorse this or any product.
© Teri Robert, 2006 - present.
Last updated February 15, 2008.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.