Aiken man invents flash drive for easy access to health information

MEDI flash drive
John Decker wanted to make it easier for patients to keep their individual medical records all in one place. (WRDW-TV / Feb. 17, 2012)
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News 12 This Morning / Friday, Feb. 17th, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It's a device that goes every where John Decker goes.

Attached to his key chain is all his personal medical information.

"Necessity is the mother of all invention," Decker said.

Decker, who is now retired, had to take his wife, Karen, to the hospital a few years ago after a she became unresponsive.

"Ambulance driver told me to gather up her medication and information," Decker remembered.

In his hurried state, he forgot a few documents and couldn't remember her medications down to every last detail.

"They wanted to know how long she was taking them," Decker said. "Wanted to know dosages and frequencies."

Learning from that experience, Decker came home and scanned all of his wife's medical documents. He put the entire stack into a small USB drive.

"In an emergency situation, I might not remember what I'm taking," he said.

After 18 months of trial and error, Decker designed the Medical Emergency Digital Information product. With the help of software engineers and a drive manufacturer, he created a flash drive that is convenient to carry or wear.

"I'm keeping it simple," he said.

Decker tried to make entering the information easy as well. Once you plug in the device, the computer software prompts you to enter your blood type, upload a picture, type in your emergency contacts and input your allergic reactions, along with any medications you are taking.

"This is what the medical community needs from you before they can treat you," Decker explained.

When doctors plug it in, they can read all you vitals on the screen.

"It would be good for anyone here the community," Mrs. Decker added. "It's an older community, I'm sure people are on a lot of medication."

It's an invention Decker didn't have to make or market, but it's information he wanted to make accessible in a compact form. The information you enter is password protected. Medical professionals can get access to the information through a read-only format. You can find the product through the M.E.D.I website

There are similar products on the market, but Decker says the method in which you put your information on the device differs slightly. Some devices require you to upload information via the Internet onto a database. Decker's device only requires the drive and a computer.