Local Kroger shoppers may notice a new product at the pharmacy.
Kroger has recently begun selling stylish, new medical ID bracelets and other medical ID jewelry that can be ordered online or by phone.
Medical ID jewelry immediately alerts caregivers to the wearer's medical conditions. Most pieces carry the Medical Alert symbol and can be customized at no additional charge with engraved information about the medical condition of the wearer. The jewelry is recommended for anyone who suffers from a variety of conditions such as diabetes, asthma, blood disorders, heart disease and severe drug, food or insect allergies. The jewelry will help in an emergency situation where the wearer may need medical care but is incapacitated and unable to explain their conditions.
Medical ID jewelry could save lives, but only if people are willing to wear them. Lower cost medical ID bracelets have been available, but many people considered them unattractive.
Medical ID Marketplace, a company founded in 2003 in Pennsylvania, has introduced a series of inexpensive, bright, rubber, mesh, crystal, bead, rope and leather designs to expand the choices available. The company also offers more traditional styles, pendant jewelry and "dog tag" options.
The company also has a new additional option on some of the jewelry called TextID. The wearer of a medical alert bracelet or pendant may pay an annual fee to have a complete medical profile stored in a secure online account. Each account had a PIN number that would be engraved on the wearer's jewelry, along with the phone number to access the account. An emergency medical technician can access the phone number, text the PIN number and obtain the person's medical record, including medications and emergency contact phone numbers.
The founders of Medical ID Marketplace, Shelly Hope Fisher and Lisa Paige Hobyak, began the company after a friend's teenage daughter refused to wear the medical alert bracelet because she found it ugly and obtrusive.
Fisher designed a pretty, fashionable bracelet for the teen, who now wears it all the time.
"Our company recognized the importance and lifesaving value of medical bracelets," Fisher said in a press release. "That's why it was so important to create styles that people actually want to wear."
The women, who love to make jewelry, now partner with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other non-profits.
The company also has corporate customers such as The Coca-Cola Company and The McDonald's Corporation.
Medical ID Marketplace is also the only vendor in the United States that sells "write-on" Medibands, which are food-grade silicone bands with a white space on the inside where the wearer can provide additional medical information. The individual may use a marker or pen to write on the inside of the bracelet before putting it in boiling water for 30 seconds to make the notes permanent.
Medical ID Marketplace has a display and brochures available at Brazil Kroger, as well as other Kroger stores in Indiana. The jewelry can also be ordered online at www.medical-bracelet.com, or by calling 866-805-1951.