Why MedicAlert Foundation Became RapidSOS Ready: Providing Vital Medical Information to Improve Emergency Outcomes

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by Julie Hylton, Vice President, Member Marketing & Communications


Julie Hylton is Vice President, Member Marketing & Communications for MedicAlert Foundation. She joined MedicAlert in 2019 and oversees member loyalty and retention, as well as initiatives that increase the value of MedicAlert for members and first responders.

What is the MedicAlert Foundation?

MedicAlert Foundation is the original universal symbol of medical identification, created in 1956 by Dr. Marion and Chrissie Collins to protect their daughter from a life-threatening allergy. Established as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, MedicAlert Foundation’s mission, then and today, is simple: to save and protect lives by sharing vital medical information. MedicAlert maintains an in-depth database of member health information, primarily for people with chronic medical conditions. They share high-level medical information like medications, allergies, and medical conditions during emergencies.


What challenge is MedicAlert aiming to solve?

By alerting first responders and emergency medical personnel to a patient’s allergies or chronic medical conditions, Dr. Collins knew he could improve the ability of first responders to provide fast, accurate care. Realizing the potential of his idea, Dr. Collins said, “I think I can save more lives with MedicAlert than I ever can with my scalpel.”

Sharing MedicAlert’s custom medical IDs with first responders ensures that in an emergency, critical health information is accurate and quickly relayed. This helps emergency personnel make more informed diagnosis and quickly administer safe and effective care. MedicAlert members benefit from the protection and increased peace of mind for themselves and loved ones. That sense of safety and security improves the quality of life and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

MedicAlert Bracelet

What is the MedicAlert and RapidSOS solution? 

When a telecommunicator receives a 9-1-1 call from a phone number associated with a MedicAlert member, additional data, including medical health information, allergies, and/or medications, and more is shared through the RapidSOS Platform. If the call comes from a number not associated with a MedicAlert ID, the telecommunicator can search for an ID number in RapidSOS. 

Available data may include*: 

  • Demographic Information: Name, gender, age, DOB,
  • Contact information: Personal or emergency contact medical health information: allergies, and/or medications.

* Information associated with any MedicAlert ID is dependent on subscriber-provided information. Available information will be different for each subscriber.

This automated, digital process helps transform the way public safety professionals respond to emergencies. With this partnership, ECCs can receive lifesaving emergency data directly on their telecommunicators’ screens.

MedicAlert Data Card


Why did MedicAlert become RapidSOS Ready?

MedicAlert’s partnership with RapidSOS leverages the strengths of both organizations. For MedicAlert, working with RapidSOS enables us to share the rich medical information we store for our members as early as possible during an incident. With RapidSOS, the health data for MedicAlert members is available to 911 telecommunicators, who can prepare first responders with information about the patient before they even arrive on scene

It’s easy to see how knowing medical context for a patient can empower first responders. If EMTs know that a patient has severe asthma or allergies, they can immediately administer rescue medications to counter anaphylaxis. If they’re aware that a trauma patient is taking blood thinners, they will know to check for internal bleeding. If the patient has an implanted cardiac device, that knowledge changes how first responders might administer CPR or an AED. These are just a few examples. In all cases, arriving on scene with knowledge of the patient’s medical conditions will shorten time to diagnosis and inform the care they provide


What is MedicAlert looking forward to in this partnership?

MedicAlert is a reliable resource in times of need and integrating with the RapidSOS Platform further elevates our impact. Together with RapidSOS, MedicAlert is committed to continuing the mission of providing lifesaving medical information to first responders, leading to faster, more accurate patient care, resulting in more improved emergency outcomes and ultimately – more lives saved.

Are you a connected device company that’s looking to add emergency response to your offering with a simple API? Talk to an expert today to learn more.