Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Create Your Own Medical USB Key

The Medic Alert bracelet is a life saving device. It gives paramedics life saving information when they need it the most... when you are unable to communicate it to them in person.

Once you are at the hospital, if you're still unconscious, who will communicate who to contact? Who your doctor is? Your insurance information? A Medic Alert Bracelet is too small to communicate all that information.

Here is where the Medical USB drive shines. It gives the hospital as much information as you wish to give them, at a time when you are stabilized and your caregivers can deal with more information.
I have seen these products on the internet for as much as $60. While they provide you with a nice layout, a more basic version can be had for much less... free.

Just download this file, and unzip it directly to an unused USB key. You can now find a use for that old, 32 MiB USB drive, since the total size of the files is less that 300 KiB. Just make sure it still works, you don't want it to fail on you in your time of need.

Now edit the file medical_info.txt, to include any information you want the medical team to have. Don't skimp, there's lots of space, since it is a simple text file.

Don't change the name of the file, or the executable will not work.

When the USB Drive is plugged it, Windows 2000 will auto-launch a pop up window with all of the contents of medical_info.txt with the option to print it to the default printer.

Windows XP and Vista, will pop up a window asking what to do with the drive. The executable file will present itself with a medical inisgnia, right at the top of the list.

You may also want to give it a distinctive colour scheme so that it is obvious to the paramedics that it has important info on it. Also, you should wear it on your neck, not bury it in a purse or jacket pocket. After all, your Medic Alert bracelet is on you 24-7.

¸.•* *•.¸.•* *•.¸.•* *•.¸.•* *•.¸.•* *•.¸.•* *•.¸.•* *•

Remember, this does not replace a Medic Alert bracelet!

The Medical USB drive is a compliment to it!

The EMTs do *not* have time to read a USB drive when

they arrive on site!

*•.¸ ¸.•*•.¸ ¸.•*•.¸ ¸.•*•.¸ ¸.•*•.¸ ¸.•*•.¸ ¸.•*•.¸ ¸.

The origial version of this file used Notepad to open the text file, but thanks to Daily Cup of Tech, I was able to refine the whole design into something alot more sleeker.

Update (2008-11-11): Thanks to Jim, who posted a comment for a fixed size window with scroll bars, I have updated the executable. It now opens a 600 x 500 window with vertical or horizontal scrollbars if your text is too wide or too long. This prevents the window from overtaking the screen. If you have already downloaded the file, just download the file again for the new version.

"bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong"


RadioFreeG said...

Great article, but I recomment NOT using the old 32 meg USB sticks for this application!

A lot of those sticks have their own drivers, and the hospitals are not exactly flush with cash. They may still be running workstations with Windows 2000. 2000 is fine to log into a server for a workstation, and it MUST eventually be changed, but for conflicts and health, DON'T CHEAP OUT, buy a new USB with lots of space.

That way you can carry your health files, and all the porn you need to entertain those masters of science that rebuild your body. It is the LEAST you can do!

Jim said...

But how can you create an exe file that includes scroll bars? If my information is long, it stretches down past the screen and I can't see the print button or even close the window.

Great idea, though. I'm going to use it right away.

Soundwave said...

You asked for it Jim, you got it.

The window is now 600 x 500 pixels and includes vertical and horizontal scroll bars if your text is wider or longer than the page.

Jim said...

Muchas gracias. Works great!

Jim said...

Soundwave, can you contact me at: jhammerel @ gmail . com?

Anonymous said...

I'd have suggested a window of not over 640x480 size (minimum for VGA resolution) just to insure the whole thing was on-screen no matter how old or what setting the display was. But this is something I was looking for. Thanks!