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Japan Keeps Track of Dementia Patients with QR codes

QR codes offer immense possibilities. As far as mobile marketing goes, we’ve been publishing tons of articles that prove how the technology can be put into effect.

From examples such as Amazon GO’s use of QR codes to create the first-ever digital grocery store, to how to improve your QR code marketing campaign with an O2O strategy.

Not to mention messaging apps like Facebook and Snapchat opting to introduce new ways to interact via QR codes, and Google and Windows getting a hold of said technology for different purposes.

Even Pokémon, one of Nintendo’s most popular video game franchises, jumped on the QR code bandwagon to “Catch ‘Em All!”.

Truth be told, QR codes are here to stay and their multiple applications are a testament to that. This article’s topic will delve into a QR code use that puts the technology into a whole new perspective.

QR codes for medical purposes

Getting straight to the point, QR codes can be of great use regarding health care.

Take for instance NoisyVision’s Yellow The World initiative which helps the visually impaired know if they are near a zone that is accessible to them by recognizing the shape of a QR code.

Also worth noting is MyMDband, a medical emergency bracelet with a QR code that provides medical personnel with instant access to a person’s critical medical information.

Apps have also been developed based on QR code technology such as the AADE Diabetes Goal Tracker which helps understand how diabetes affects the body, symptoms to look out for, and how to take action.

This time around we’ll be focusing on how a company in Iruma, Japan, is introducing QR codes to a new audience: the elderly.

Reuniting with QR codes

Iruma has approximately 3,000 elderly residents with dementia. These citizens might go missing if they are not attended. In order to keep track of them, officials in Iruma developed a system that features QR codes.

These QR codes come in the form of tiny waterproof stickers that can be placed on a person’s fingernails. Whoever finds a loved one roaming the streets aimlessly can scan his or her code and access the user’s identity, address and telephone number.

The codes themselves can remain attached for approximately two weeks and being that they are 1 x 1 cm in size, they can be used discreetly.

The initiative is free and it’s already active in Japan. Regarding privacy concerns, here’s what CNN gathered from Chie Sano, a spokeswoman from Iruma city’s welfare department:

“Iruma was careful with personal information, leaving out a person’s name and address but putting a system in place to get them home. (…) We only provide the minimum information with the police, so that the missing can reunite with their families as soon as possible.”

QR uses that matter the most

Aside from e-commerce and other interactive applications, Iruma’s proactive decision to use QR codes in such a way pushes the technology forward.

It is most certainly something that more countries should consider to offer as a public safety precaution; not only for dementia patients but for people who suffer any kind of disease or are under a special treatment.

Content wise, if a user’s QR code is kept secure and gives enough information so as to help reunite the family members, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

These initiatives are the ones that stand tall, the ones that truly define what QR codes can do in the search to provide a better way of life. As such, they ought to be commended.

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