Unfortunately natural and man made disasters rattle the world every day. Daily news brings us no shortage of:
- Mud slides
- Busses driven over cliff
- Train derailments
- Ships sunk
- Chemical plant disasters
- Tsunami waves
- Epidemic illneses
- Terrorist attacks in public places
Common with all disasters listed are that they produce many victims at an instant. They tend to overwhelm healthcare authorities and fill up medical capacities. Take any example out of many and one will be able to recognize shortcomings in even very well organized societies like USA:
Latest bombing in downtown Boston produced 3 persons dead at the spot and about 190 very badly injured individuals! Whole City of Boston emergency capacity showed up in force and still had a hard time tending to the victims. It was really an International event and thousands of runners and tourists to cheer for them. They came from all over the world, Europe, Canada, Japan …
There are no doubts that EMS did whatever they could with such a flood of patients. Dealing with catastrophic injuries created by exploding bombs is no easy task. Could EMS have done better? Yes they could. What was one of the main impediments? They simply didn’t have enough information about patients!
FIGHTING DISASTER WITH TIMELY INFORMATION
How could they? As we mentioned before, large groups of tourists were injured on the streets of Boston. One will agree that documents victims possibly had with them are passport, possibly driver’s license or some kind of ID card.
In case of medical emergency none of those documents help at all!
IF there is an Electronic Medical Journal system in place it would not help either! As we all know there is no such thing to start with. There won’t be one and especially there would not be data interchange between different countries.
The company of close family members or friends won’t provide any legitimate medical information either!
THERE IS MORE
All this is for 190 victims. As that is not horrific enough how about 100 thousand+ people after Tsunami hit tourist populated Thailand? No power, no water, no food, no cell phones, no Internet, no medical supplies, shady medical services to start with. In reality how someone can ever prepare for 100 thousand patients speaking different languages, no medical information or details let alone medical records, insurance information, existing medication records, allergies, blood type, recent visits to doctor … list of non existent facts just goes on and on.
Local medical professionals really had to battle uphill with total lack of information about patients they had to treat. With all communications down, dealing with foreign patients, centrally located Electronic Patient’s Journal system (if there was one in Thailand!) wouldn’t matter at all.
ALIVE OR DEAD - DREADFUL LISTS
Also, there was a problem with survivors looking for their family and friends. Hundreds of lists existed, Internet sites, Government tries to organize definitive source of such critical information. It is not an easy task. Piece of paper stapled to bill board or lamp post was only means of communicating important information like that. Alive or dead, it was left to local people’s imagination how to present and keep up.
After disaster or in ordinary times officials would benefit from simply knowing who is dead and who is alive. Some countries stricken by Tsunami didn’t have proper citizens records even before disaster. Even today after much time passed they still don’t have basic people count.
Epidemic diseases and extraordinary measures surrounding them are a nightmare for every country. Even simple statistics like how many people are hit by malaria is a task almost impossible to solve. Country officials would want to have cases documented and even more, cases resolved, so they know that they are doing the right thing with fighting disease. Unfortunately there are countless diseases everybody wants to know about, in case there is an outbreak.
Again, disease statistics showing number for specific part of country, county, state, village, town … whatever geographical location of interest might be, are of super important value. It could even be classified per part of the year, influx of tourists or other important details.
World Health Card represents most advanced, most comprehensive solution that may address all above mentioned problems. It is true technological miracle that should find a place in the pocket of every person. It works everywhere, every time. Laptop computer running on batteries can easily read and write to card. There are no language barriers, no communications limitations and needs. All critical medical information at the fingertips. Everything figured out, nothing left out, nobody forgotten. Loaded with features for every patient, doctor, therapist, pharmacy, EMS, insurance. Since it has multiple ID validation built-in it may very well serve as national ID card as well. It may help count people, vote and ID user at any Government level.
WHC is simply the best and most versatile smart health card !