As business owners we should all be able to answer the question- Why do we do what we do? Every now and then we have a personal experience that validates our answers.
Recently my 81 year old father was visiting me. He lost his balance, went down on a tile floor, and for a minute, which felt like an eternity, he was unresponsive.
We called the paramedics, and luckily by the time they arrived he was lucid. That didn’t stop the questions from beginning. Conditions, allergies, prescriptions etc?
My father, while healthy, suffers from many chronic conditions. Diabetes, Colitis, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease. As you can imagine the coordination of his care is in many doctor’s hands.
That night, we were lucky. It turned out not to be anything serious. BUT having easy access to the information they needed can be critical. And in a more fragile moment, could save a life. How could emergency responders know what would be safe to give him without knowing his other prescriptions (all 17 of them)? How could they know if he was allergic to something? And how could they possibly know of his conditions?
We think we remember everything- but I can attest to the fact that in crisis mode, it’s not so easy to recall the information. What if he had been alone, or at work, on an airplane or really just about anywhere, and nobody knew his medical/health “footprint”?
We never know when we will find ourselves in a situation that requires our health and medical history…BUT when we do, the knowlEDGE of that information gives us an EDGE!
FootprintID- Always access to your medical and health information, whenever and wherever you are!
I am a 50 year old Caucasian woman who has spent the last 3 years of her life in a physical therapy office, and continue to do so.
Sadly I have experienced a lot of different aliments that physical therapy has been recommended for.
I have 2 herniated discs in my neck at c3/c4 as well as herniated discs in my back at L5/s1Ii have a torn labrum in my right shoulder. All of this is accompanied by a tremendous amount of arthritis.
As if that weren’t enough I am also currently receiving PT for a surgery I recently had to remove a morton neuroma from my foot.
While in PT I have received a lot of manual stimulation to help relieve a lot of the tension associated with all of my issues. Additionally I have received heated ultrasounds and stim. I have done countless exercises for all the different issues.
Just about every time we start a new PT session I am asked “May I see your MRI?”. Or “When was your last MRI?”. Sadly I never had that information with me.
If I had access to FootprintID then, all of these questions could be answered in an instant and my PT session could continue as planned. Instead we had to wait for the assistant to call and locate my MRI and have it sent over.
There was one occasion when we could not get my prior MRI in a timely fashion and I had to have it repeated I wasn’t happy with the time or cost of that!
I have also been prescribed different medications to see if they can help with stabilizing different levels that are off in my body. It would have been so much easier to pull up my footprint ID and show my therapist my blood results instead once again we were stuck hunting down my results and more often than that having to repeat blood work.
Finally – FootprintID became part of my life. It stores all of my documents and images-amongst any other health and medical information I choose, so I am never without them. It has been so helpful during my current round of PT for my foot. The physical therapist can also see the doctor’s notes from each time I go for a re-check and incorporate them into their plan.
I now know that if any of these body parts need medical attention again- I have stored all of my information and imaging. I may be able to avoid another test and/or my new test will be so much more meaningful being able to compare it to my prior results. And I don’t have to explain anything to the doctor- all the information is right there for them to see.
PT has been very helpful to me in my rehabilitation. With FootprintID as a partner in my rehabilitation I can be even more successful!
Electronic efforts: Tofel feels FootprintID is telemedicine tool needed to fill gaps of electronic health portals
Beth Tofel knows firsthand how frazzled mothers and working women can get.
Sometimes the mere hassle of going to the doctor keeps them from seeking the care they need before taking care of others, she said.
“Women need to be both proactive and preventative,” Tofel said.
Recent studies have shown that the use of electronic health records has not only helped doctors more effectively manage women’s health, it has also encouraged women to go to the doctor.
“If their (medical) information is readily available, it gives them that push to take better care of themselves,” Tofel said. “That is really key, especially for women who are managing their own health care as well as the health of their family.”
But electronic health records alone still have their limits.
“The portals (today) are all practically silos,” Tofel said. “There is no interaction.”
Tofel, co-founder and president of FootprintID, has made it her mission to fill in the missing gaps.
FootprintID, a mobile health application that provides quick access to self-uploaded medical records, helps individuals better utilize and maintain their electronic medical histories.
“My goal in founding this business is to help people feel empowered with knowledge and information about their own health so they can self-advocate and be prepared,” she said.
Tofel left her job as an executive for a private-label shirt manufacturer to stay home with her two children in 1993. She became heavily involved in school administration and organizations to advocate for the safety and health of the children.
She could only have prepared for so much for her family.
“My brother had a massive heart attack at age 43,” Tofel said. “No one was there to provide his doctor with any information on his health history — what prescriptions he took, what our family history was.
“I realized we needed to make access to this information very easy.”
Her business partner, Jason Hubert — co-founder, CEO and chief technology officer of FootprintID — had been living in the same community as Tofel, having spent more than 25 years working in IT and corporate business.
According to the Society for Women’s Health Research, Big Data has the ability to revolutionize medical treatment for both genders.
Data patterns can help inform researchers how to specifically care for men and women moving forward, based on factors such as genetics, age, weight and lifestyle, and the development of precision medicine and genomics can help to create more individualized treatments.
Women, however, tend to need more routine medical attention than men for conditions that require ongoing care, such as reproductive planning and health, mammograms and cervical cancer screenings.
Recent studies by the Journal of the Medical Informatics Association showed that the presence of electronic health records make it more likely that doctors order essential tests to address these issues, such as Pap smears and breast exams.
“He had this massive experience in managing technology projects and automated systems,” Tofel said. “So, I decided to use my leadership skills and concerns for the population to go into business with Jason.”
Tofel and Hubert founded the company in 2012 and began marketing the Livingston-based business last year. FootprintID currently employs eight nationwide in order to handle its growing volume.
With unlimited storage and a user-friendly interface, FootprintID provides templates such as emergency contact lists, allergies and conditions, prescriptions and medications, hospitalizations and surgeries, and more for members to fill out.
Members are then encouraged to scan and upload prior test results and documents such as living wills and explanations of benefits.
“With constant changes in health insurance, testing locations and doctors, it is so important to be able to compare tests to prior results,” Tofel said.
Sometimes that is easier said than done.
“Electronic health portals have made it much easier for our members to compile their information,” Tofel said. “However, if that information is ever polluted by, for example, medical identity theft in the case of someone wanting to be insured for treatment or to get prescriptions filled, FootprintID can provide more accurate information.”
Membership for the first year is $40 for the first member and $30 for each additional member. Yearly renewals are $25 per member.
Members can only access and change their information via the use of a username and password. They can provide their doctors, family, friends and caretakers with a shareable access code.
“We do not store Social Security numbers or credit card information, which helps take us out of the target market for financial and medical identity theft,” Tofel said.
Instead, FootprintID uses both local level and secure encryption via Amazon Web Services.
“People have sensitivities regarding information about their health, so we wanted to make sure our members feel in control and comfortable that their information is safe and secure,” Tofel said.
More than 10,000 members believe that it is.
So do a rapidly growing number of employers, which account for 80 percent of FootprintID’s business.
“Employers and organizations are recognizing how important it is for an individual to have access to their medical information,” Tofel said. “They are providing FootprintID to their employees as a value-add within their health and wellness benefits. It is a very affordable tool that benefits both the employer and the user.”
Doctors have also recommended Footprint ID to their patients.
“They recommend us and stand by the same philosophy that we have,” Tofel said. “The more you can bring to the table for yourself, the better your care will be.”
Tofel hopes the state will step up, too, citing the importance of keeping businesses in New Jersey.
“Because there is so much conversation surrounding the health environment here, perhaps the state can assist us in terms of research and showing health care organizations in New Jersey how a tool like ours can benefit individuals long term,” Tofel said.
In the meantime, Tofel said the plan is to expand FootprintID membership through employers and organizations.
“Our goal is to educate people in the importance of being empowered with this information,” Tofel said.
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We all know someone who has experienced sudden tragedy. Protect your family and loved ones. Estate planning should never be put off because you can’t always know when the moment of need will arrive.
As a college student who is home for summer vacation eager to make money, I have decided to take on the role as a babysitter and driver for several families in town. My role for these children is to watch them while their parents are out of the house and drive them to and from sports and other activities. As their babysitter I am essentially responsible for the safety and health of these children while their parents are not home. I am to make sure that as I take them to their countless summer activities that they are safe in my car. I also have to limit any accidents that may happen while they are on my watch. Although, I personally have not had an experience where a child I am watching has been hurt, I know that there is a possibility of something happening. In any situation that regards these children’s health, FootprintID can be very useful. If anything was to happen I would be prepared with their medical information by having their FootprintID login. If the parents could not get to where we were right away I would be able to provide the majority of their health information to the health care provider by using the FootprintID portal.
I always love when my younger cousins come to visit and it is always a fun packed week! Our entire family goes nonstop from one activity to the next. But……sometimes things do not go according to plan…
While my cousins were visiting last summer, my younger cousin got a rash. My aunt and uncle were not with us, so my cousin’s health quickly became my mom’s responsibility.
Immediately we took my cousin to the doctor’s office to be checked out. My mom kept calling my aunt about the medical information that needed to be filled out on the patient forms, as well as for any additional information that would be helpful to the doctor treating her. There certainly were a lot of back and forth phone calls! It turned out that my cousin’s rash was nothing very serious. However, if my family had FootprintID, my aunt could have easily shared my cousin’s medical information with my mom and the doctor. This would have resulted in less frantic back and forth phone calls and my mom would have been prepared to handle this situation (and future ones when they visit us in a few weeks!)
#preparedness #medicalrecords #knowledgeispower #accessispossible #health #safety #family #caregiving #digitalhealth #employeebenefits
Starting college is a hectic time for any student. Everyone is adjusting to a new environment, accepting new roles, and becoming more self-sufficient. In the past, my parents took care of my doctor’s appointments and medical information. It was not until college that I was allocated the responsibility of handling this information. At first, I was overwhelmed about everything health related that came my way. Slowly, I became more accustomed to keeping track of my medical information and making sure it was organized and up to date. When I gained this responsibility, it was vital for me to accept the role as a knowledgeable patient. This required me to increase my awareness of not only my medical history, but also my family’s. Had I known about FootprintID earlier, this would have alleviated the process.