Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) announced on June 29 that its Airport Police Department will now use the Vitals App, becoming the first airport in the country to utilize the cutting-edge technology that helps create safe, confident interactions between law enforcement and passengers.
This partnership is a part of Travel Confidently MSP, an effort to provide travelers with a safer experience on their journeys.
Vitals is a downloadable app that allows a person or caregiver to voluntarily provide real-time critical information about medical conditions, visible and invisible intellectual and developmental conditions, or disabilities, memory loss, and mental health challenges. The customized account profiles often include de-escalation cues and techniques, behavior triggers, current medications, and other critical information for first responders. The app uses a Bluetooth feature that pings authorities when in proximity to the individual.
“The Vitals App will help ensure that our officers are well-equipped to appropriately respond to health emergencies and keep passengers safe while traveling,” said Brian Ryks, Metropolitan Airports Commission executive director, and CEO. “This technology is one more tool in our ever-expanding accessibility toolkit to ensure that our passengers are able to travel with confidence.”
The Vitals App communicates clearly for passengers when they are unable to give more information regarding their mental and physical health. The technology supports officers in initiating less stressful interactions with vulnerable passengers in the airport.
“The Vitals App will help create a sense of trust, ease, and safety for all individuals while traveling, and help us appropriately respond to travelers’ needs in a caring and effective manner,” said Matt Christenson, MSP Airport police chief.
Vitals was launched in Saint Paul, MN in 2017 in partnership with the Autism Association of Minnesota. More than 6,000 individuals have profiles on the app, and more than 50 law enforcement agencies in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio use the software.
“We founded Vitals with a single purpose in mind – providing a voice and independence to the millions of people needing advocacy, transparency, and most importantly a safer outcome when they face an emergency situation,” said Janeé Harteau, president and CEO of Vitals Aware Services. “While we have a serious mental health epidemic in our nation, that does not mean people are not able to function in society; rather, Vitals is empowering these individuals and families with the tools they need to maintain and, in times, gain independence, a voice, dignity and quite simply, the basic right to be a productive member of society.”
The Vitals App, considered the first real-time digital medical ID, is available for download in both Apple and Google Play stores.
Vitals is proud to partner with many organizations including, the Autism Society of Colorado, The Autism Society of Minnesota, Arc Minnesota, and Arc of Larimer County, Colorado.