Emergency scan app for riders a ‘modern twist on an old dilemma’

  • A new service is providing riders with a QR code that enables first responders to quickly access their vital information in the event of an accident.

    The ICE-scan (in case of emergency) app and service has been aimed at equestrians, cyclists and bikers and creates individualised, extra-durable stickers that can be fixed to helmets or equipment.

    It allows medical and personal information to be safely stored using up-to-date technology that is familiar to paramedics, doctors, the police and fire service, who can peel back the stickers on arrival to access the code.

    ICE-scan app founder Bryn Williams, who has a background in motorsports, said the idea for the service had come from the tradition of motorcyclists storing vital information on pieces of paper inside their helmets.

    “When I was a young lad tearing round on a motorbike, a local bobby, who was a police motorcyclist, told me there was an unwritten rule that motorcyclists wrote their details on paper and put it inside their helmets, and in the event of an accident the police and ambulance service would always look inside the helmet,” he said.

    “But the last thing you may want to do is take someone’s helmet off after an accident, so what the ICE app is doing is introducing a modern twist to an old dilemma.”

    ICE-scan charges an annual subscription that allows users to enter their personal information into the app. They are then posted a sheet of five stickers to fix on their riding equipment or phone which are activated via the app on arrival.

    The subscription costs £24 a year and includes the cost of the tags, which are printed by a company specialising in durable, outdoor stickers. H&H readers can use code HAH25 for a 25% discount, to £1.50 per month.

    Bryn told H&H ICE-scan pp had been in talks with the College of Paramedics and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, which felt the app and QR tags would be a “credible asset in their daily work of saving lives”.

    They have already recommended that all ambulance crews look for the tags and have the ICE-scan app downloaded on their tablets. The QR tags do not require the app in order to be scanned however, as this can be done with the camera app on a smartphone.

    “The only difference is the way the information is displayed on the mobile camera and on the app. It’s clearer to the eye in the app and when scanned by a camera looks like a Word document,” Bryn said.

    “You can download the app for free and even put basic info in before paying but to put in full medical info and to physically have the ICE-scan tags requires a subscription.”

    The company has also started working with locator app What3Words and is working to integrate the app, so that the precise location details of a casualty can be given.

    It is hoped that as awareness of the app grows, members of the public will also know to look for the QR code and be able to give vital information, including location, to the emergency services.

    “When a QR code is scanned, what comes up is year of birth, name and medical details. Once we have integrated with What3Words, location will come up first,” Bryn said

    The company does not store personal addresses on the app and users are warned whenever a QR code is scanned, so they can be alerted to any attempted misuse in the event of equipment theft.

    “Should a third party scan your QR code, you are sent a text and an email to tell you someone has accessed your code and you have the ability to go back onto app and block your account for a day, three days or permanently,” Bryn said. “You have full control over the information.”

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