KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pediatrician Dr. Paul Allen was finishing up his master's degree in business administration when he had an idea that he believed could change the medical field.
While working in the emergency room, Allen saw children constantly taking off their medical ID bracelets. He had an idea to use a device that would print a patient’s name and important medical information onto their arm as a bar code.
"It's a printer that uses what we call temporary cosmetic ink. It usually prints it on the forearm," said Allen, who works in the Children’s Mercy Emergency Department.
Allen said that the device would help to save lives by eliminating medical errors, while at the same time making hospital bracelets a thing of the past.
While the device would cost about the same as printing bracelets, it would be better for the environment, Allen said.
"We estimated that there is between 700 million and 1 billion of those made each year,” Allen said. “(T)hink about the landfill space on that You could wrap them around the world four and a half times.”
Hospitals would need a special machine that is Bluetooth compatible to see the hypoallergenic ink.
Currently, the plans are still in the testing stages and could have a few drawbacks.
Tests include making sure that bacteria isn't spread from one person to another from the machine.
Allen said that he came up with the idea with a friend and fellow doctor. They hope to have it in hospitals soon.