PLYMOUTH — Beginning today, Plymouth emergency responders may be checking victim’s smart phones for clues to their medical history and current medications. Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) launched a free smart phone app Wednesday called ICE (In Case of Emergency) Michiana, intended to provide a quick way for emergency responders to send critical information to hospitals.
“For anyone who owns a smart phone, we can access their information — allergies, medications, medical history — through their phone,” said Plymouth Fire Chief Rod Miller Wednesday. “(The app) builds an emergency profile for us, for the emergency responders. We can actually type in a note for the emergency room and use the ‘push’ function to send the information directly to the hospital.”
The app is available to Apple and Android users. So far, the only participating hospitals are SJRMC Mishawaka and Plymouth campuses. However, Miller said he believes other hospitals will begin using the app soon.
“(Other hospitals) will be coming on board soon, because they will want to be a part of this,” said Miller. “It’s all about the patient.”
Although the app is simple to download and use, SJRMC is aware that not everybody has a smart phone. A hard copy of the app is available in the form of a kit. The kit consists of a tube containing important medical information, that should be placed in the freezer.
“Where is ice kept? We want (people) to keep this information in the freezer,” said Miller, explaining that EMS personnel will know to look for the tube — marked clearly with an ICE Michiana sticker — in the patient’s freezer.
The kit also contains a window sticker and a magnet for the refrigerator, to further encourage emergency responders to look for the tube. Kits are available at the front desk of both SJRMC Plymouth and Mishawaka, all SJRMC doctor’s offices, and at participating fire departments. The smart phone app is available for free download at www.theICEapp.com . Also on the website is a list of other fire departments in the Michiana area that will be utilizing the app.
“This was developed right here in our own community, and we as first responders want to be role models,” said Miller. “We strongly believe in this program and what it can do for the members of the community. This program can grow across the country. We just ask that you download it for us — so we can help you.”
Miller added that anyone seeking assistance with the app can come into the fire station for help.
“We will walk you through it,” said Miller.