Vitals™ offering its safety app free of charge to support first responders and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
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Deputy Chief Mike Hartley
April 13, 2020 – One of Minnesota’s largest law enforcement agencies is launching a life-saving service that provides critical health information to first responders in the age of “social distancing.” The Bloomington Police Department is joining the Vitals™ network immediately.
Vitals™ Aware Services, the Twin Cities-based developer of the Vitals™ App, is offering its services to all first responders, public health care providers, hospitals and clinics in Minnesota free of charge to support their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bloomington Police Department is the first public safety agency to accept the donation.
As part of this initiative, Vitals™ will also offer free signup and service to individuals and families in need of the technology for the next six months. The Vitals™ team will continuously assess the situation to determine if this offer could be extended longer.
“Prior to COVID-19, our team had decided that we wanted to begin using the Vitals™ App. We think it’s an innovative tool that gives us real time information about people who are vulnerable. We believe Vitals™ will provide tremendous peace of mind for the most vulnerable in our city,” Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said.
“When you consider daily workers and visitors, our city more than doubles in size during business hours. While we are incredibly proud to offer Vitals™ to our residents, people from every corner of the state visit Bloomington, and our most vulnerable (and their families) can do so knowing officers are equipped to help them compassionately and safely should the need arise. It’s a very powerful tool.”
Bloomington has approximately 90,000 residents and approximately 125 sworn officers. It’s also home of the Mall of America, the nation’s largest retail mall.
Vitals™ works by equipping first responders with information voluntarily provided by Vitals™ enrollees. Law enforcement and other first responders download the Vitals™ First Responder app on their cellphones. The service allows a vulnerable person to register online, then wear a beacon that takes the form of a keychain, necklace, debit card or bracelet. An Android phone can also serve as the beacon. When a Vitals™ user comes within 80 feet of an officer or first responder equipped with the service, the officer will get a notification about the person’s diagnosis and how they may best interact with them.
“The Vitals™ App is a living, breathing medical alert bracelet. This is exactly the type of technology needed right now. With Vitals™, first responders and others caring for the sick will have immediate access to updated, critical information while allowing them to maintain a tactical and adequate distance for their own safety,” explains Janeé Harteau, president and CEO of Vitals™ Aware Services.
“We have a valuable platform to help those stuck inside their homes and the heroes who continue to provide public safety services. Now is not the time for first responders, or our most vulnerable, to worry about budgets. We’re offering free service to those who need it the most. We’re all in this together.”
Vitals™ launched a new feature to its app last week that focuses on helping first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new feature, a first responder or public health care provider will automatically be alerted when an individual with a Vitals™ beacon is in their proximity. Once within 80 feet, the first responder or health official can view the person’s customized profile displaying critical details about the individual, including the underlying health conditions that put them at risk. The first responder will receive an alert on his or her smartphone that an individual has a far greater risk of becoming significantly ill, or worse, if they contract the virus. The profile will also display how a first responder or health official can best serve the vulnerable adult or child based on medical conditions, behavior triggers, medications, allergic reactions, emergency contact information, etc.
To learn more about Vitals™, go to www.thevitalsapp.com.