LifeCode offers EMTs critical data on card that allows access to medical records

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Dynamics Inc., a Cheswick-based manufacturer of payment cards that switch between bank accounts or rewards programs with the push of a button, is using that technology to go from saving dollars to saving lives.

The company today unveiled LifeCode, an electronic information card that gives emergency medical technicians access to vital medical information for patients when they're not able to answer for themselves.

The red credit card-shaped device attaches to the back of a user's drivers license with a clear plastic sleeve that alerts emergency responders of the card's purpose. On the back of the LifeCode card, emergency responders immediately see information regarding the users' blood type and allergies, as well as names and numbers for their emergency contacts.

Once the EMT pushes a button on the front of the card, the "LifeCode"-- a seven-digit passcode that allows linking to hospital entry forms and medical records through the Dynamics website -- appears on the card within seconds.

From that point, the EMT is only a smartphone or laptop away from accessing critical information that could make the difference between misfortune and a tragedy. To protect the user's privacy, a new LifeCode must be entered each time someone attempts to access the user's account.

Users can purchase the card and one year of service for $44.99 through or at select GNC stores starting today. Users also can add medical information about minors to their card or purchase a separate card for minors for $35.

Dynamics CEO Jeff Mullen said the idea for LifeCode has been on his mind since 2010, when he began building the company at Carnegie Mellon University. The full push to create the device began with manufacturing and beta testing last year but LifeCode has already made an impact in the industry.

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it was runner up for the best in show prize. Dynamics took home the show's prize for best of innovations in 2011 for its Hidden card, which uses similar passcode technology to hide a portion of a credit card number until it's unlocked by an approved user.

Considering that a lack of information upon first contact is one of the leading causes of death for people needing emergency medical service, the device could be the first step in addressing a major public health issue, Mr. Mullen said.

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Deborah M. Todd: or 412-263-1652.


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