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My Virtual Health

Friday, March 20, 2015

By Jennifer Gooden

In December, my phone died. It super died. It got stuck on a loading screen doing an update and it was over. I couldn’t get any pictures or contacts off my phone. And at first I thought, “Awesome, now I will get a new great phone.” And then reality set in.

I went to the store, bought a new phone, and went home to plug in a bunch of phone numbers. I got my husband, my mom and my sister… and then several four-letter words came out. I realized that now I don’t have a phone number to contact my cardiologist or adult congenital heart team if I need to. So I sent a quick email off to the nursing coordinator of the adult congenital heart program and in return I got a lot of numbers to save into my contact list.

When exploring my new phone I found a fantastic feature called Medical ID. It is already on my phone so I didn’t need to download an app. The virtual medical ID let me enter as much or as little information as I wanted. You can set your name, birth date, medical conditions, allergies, medications, emergency contact people, blood type, organ donor, weight, height and any notes. Just remember to keep things up to date!

I filled in as much information as I could. For my emergency contact I made sure to include my husband as well as the on-call adult congenital heart doctor associated with the hospital where I receive my care. I also added a note that includes the physiology of my heart – a classic Fontan – so that an ER doctor could easily Google it if need be.

I included arrhythmias that I know that I have gone into. I also included that I have a pacemaker, when it was placed and that it only one atrial lead. I included my pacemaker settings – which are very helpful if you know them – for any doctors who might stumble across me in a less-than-ideal situation.

I also took the time to place all of my medications into the virtual medical ID. I included medications, doses, and how often I take those meds. Medications that keep you out of arrhythmias, blood thinners, or blood pressure medications are very important. By placing this information in my virtual medical ID, it helps ensure that I get the correct meds and dosages the correct amount of times per day. Very important information for you and medical staff to know!

As an ICU nurse, getting all of a patient’s medication situation is a very serious thing, especially when being admitted often takes a good amount of time. By having this handy list you could be helping out your fabulous nurse!

The medical ID in my phone is like a virtual passport that ACHA provides, but takes in account that I have terrible handwriting! I am glad to see that phone companies are creating this kind of app pre-loaded into phones. I hope that more phone providers take note and follow suit!

Do you have a medical ID? And if you don’t are you thinking about getting one now?


Add yours below.


The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.