I have been a big fan of the Next of Kin Registry for a long time. Mark and his team have taken a grassroots, non-nonsense, get-it-done approach to helping people find each other in times of emergency or disaster. They didn’t go out and seek millions in funding — they simply built a great resource and have relentlessly evangelized it to first responders and other key organizations.
The result is a service that has more than 200 million registered profiles and dozens of emergency responder organizations connected. The idea is extremely simple:
- Individuals and families register their emergency contacts and personal information at nokr.org. They can also request free NOKR decals to be applied to drivers’ licenses and other id cards.
- Emergency organizations register and receive access to search the database.
- In case of emergency, responders can use the database to identify victims, provide appropriate medical care, and connect with their families and loved ones.
It’s a great system — and by the way, completely free of advertisements or other commercial vehicles. Plain and simple, a service to help real folks when they are at their most vulnerable.
So what’s the one problem? It’s the same as I’ve talked about before with any such system … personal information can become out of date quickly, and not many of us remember to update it in all the places where it matters.
That’s where HealthVault comes in. You can now link your HealthVault record to NOKR, and every time an update is made at HealthVault, it will automatically be sent to NOKR. And remember, not only will HealthVault remind you to review your emergency information a few times a year, you can also connect automatically to services like Walgreens and CVS. When you fill a script, the information will automatically go to HealthVault and then to NOKR, and any other services you may have set up as well.
Last thing — I would be incredibly remiss if I didn’t give a huge shout out to Ivan and his team at DataArt who stepped up to build this connection, FOR FREE. I put out an ask a few months ago, and these guys stepped up and just did a fantastic job. They learned HealthVault quickly and well, were able to support an understaffed (as with any nonprofit) IT function at NOKR, and stuck with it until the job was done.
If you need help with your own HealthVault connection — give these guys a call (or ask me using the contact form here and I’ll put you together) … if they do half as well for you as they did for NOKR you will be very happy customers.