Personalized QR Code Badges Help Keep Elderly Wanderers Safe

Fear of becoming disoriented and/or lost when outside their homes can turn many senior citizens into shut-ins. Now a new QR code badge currently being tested in several Chinese cities can help restore the freedom and independence vital for maintaining good quality of life for the elderly.

The round badges are approximately 5cm (about 2 inches) in diameter and are sealed within clear acrylic discs that are tough but lightweight. A bright red circle encloses a unique printed QR code that displays the wearer's ID card number, family contact information and residential district.

In case of emergency, anyone with a smartphone can scan the badge to learn the wearer's contact info. The wearer could even be unconscious or be suffering a medical emergency – though the wearer can't give out any information, their badge can! The QR code badge is being tested by elderly volunteers including 84-year-old Qiao Zong Lian from Ding Xiang District in Anhui province. Qiao enjoys going out by herself daily to get exercise and run errands but as her age has advanced, she's become more forgetful. “I'll rely on this to get back home if I get lost,” Qiao told reporters from Nan Feng Daily.

Chen Lei, who also resides in Ding Xiang district, is one of 8 local oldsters who volunteered to test the QR code badge. “As everyone has mobile phone now,” stated Chen, “I think that there will be more people willing to help the elderly.” Not to mention the fact that smartphone-carrying seniors will also be able to help themselves. (via Shanghaiist)