USB key gives vital rider medical details

Tony Walton with his ICEmergency USB key with medical information and emergency contact details

A rider died without his family by his side six hours after arriving in hospital because the medical authorities had no idea who to contact.

This was the scenario that inspired 40-year riding veteran Tony Walton of Perth to address the situation and save some lives.

His invention is the ICEmergency USB key which goes on your key ring and includes vital medical and contact information that can be used by first responders and/or hospital staff.

“About 12 months ago I had this idea. It came from a conversation I had with an emergency department nurse,” Tony says.

“She was telling me how much time she wasted trying to track down the ID and family of a rider that had been involved in an accident and he wasn’t able to be ID’d. She told me that he died after about six hours and the family could have been with him, but they couldn’t find them.

“It just seemed bloody obvious to me at the time that a form of ID and emergency contact details and medical details are vitally important.”  

The ICEmergency USB key costs $19.95 and a discount of 20% applies to more than one item purchased if you enter the word “multi” at the online checkout.

The key is coloured red, the universal colour for emergencies, and is laser-engraved with the “ICEmergency” logo which is an internationally known term for In Case of Emergency.

First responders simply plug the USB into any computer (IBM or Apple) to find a simple text file.Tony Walton with his ICEmergency USB key with medical information and emergency contact details

It includes three emergency phone contacts and the rider’s important medical details such as allergies to anaesthetics and whether they are taking any medications that may interfere with his emergency treatment.

Tony says the rider’s family can be notified within minutes and first responders and hospital emergency department staff will know what treatment is suitable for the patient.

The ICEmergency USB holds a single pre-loaded file which will take less than two minutes for the rider to fill in with relevant details.

“It took me 12 months to get the Patent Pending and Trademark sorted and getting the design right and manufactured,” says Tony, 56, a semi-retired marketing strategist.

“I’ve had bikes all my life, Ducatis, Kawasakis, Hondas and Yamahas; now I ride a Triumph 955i. I’m getting too damn old for cafe styles unfortunately.”

*Riders are advised to keep their records with them whenever they ride. Apart from this USB Key, there are also smart phone apps, wrist bands, ID cards for your wallet and stickers for your helmet or bike that you can use.


  1. In Case of Emergency.

    You should also have a contact on your phone named “ICE” with your loved one’s number. My phone also has my wife’s name and mobile number on the lock screen with the message “If found please call..”

  2. In case of emergency.

    A qr code could just as easily be damaged if exposed during an accident. Both qr codes and usb keys have their merits and their problems. Nothing is 100% foolproof.

  3. putting it on your keyring is only one option. It could be on a chain round your neck, in your pocket,or wallet. There are plenty of places us first aiders look for I.D. on a safety chain to your jacket. On the bike is not necessarily a good idea as someone said, often the bike is away from the rider and as its injuries are less important than the riders it is usually left alone until cleanup.

  4. Nice idea but it’s a fail. The list of problems is long and significant.
    One was already mentioned but here’s another , damage to the key due to the accident as well as wear and tear of everyday life, I have several others that I can mention if anyone wants.
    Note I give this idea for free only on the condition that price be kept to operating and development costs only not for profit in other words.
    A better alternative is a personal Q’Code you know those square barcode thingies that you take a picture of with a mobile phone or tablet. they can be printed on stickers to place on your helmet and bike and etched on to a key fob or tag as well as necklaces and bracelets.
    Operation is pretty much the same as the key device except there are no issues like not having a USB port accessible or lost keys or having them go off to the wrecker with the bike.
    Cyber security is an issue so the information needs to be limited to public and private so police and health care providers would need a secure login to access more than a persons name and phone number.

    1. Hello Al.
      As the inventor of the device, I disagree with your opinion that it is a fail.
      Police cars, ambulances and hospitals all have computers, so usb accessibility is not a problem. I’ve had a test key on my house keys for the past 6 months, another one with my bike key, again, no problems. I’ve also bent the key at 90 degrees and it still works.
      Cybersecurity is also not an issue. I’ve been informed that all Police, Ambulance and Hospital computers have up to date anti virus software.
      The USB file holds you name and phone number only. It also holds the names and contact numbers for 3 emergency contacts and any allergy and medications you’re taking. In fact I warn people NOT to put addresses etc on the file so identity theft does not become an issue. Ok, the ICEmergency usb is not a be all and end all, but I believe it will save lives. It’s a helluva better than having no ID or emergency contact info if you come off your bike. I think your idea of a Q code is a good one, IF it was available and IF people wanted to stick stickers on their helmet and IF emergency personnel had Q code readers and IF they knew that the Q code was an emergency contact detail device. The term ICE is internationally known by emergency responders.

      I hope you win one so you can see for yourself that this little gadget actually works and is well worth the effort of putting it on a ring with your bike key.
      Safe Riding mate
      Tony .

      1. Sorry I was a bit blunt but it’s still a fail.
        IT security protocols often disable access the to usb ports on police and hospital computers. Q-Code is now a common well known app for any smartphone or tablet if you look through any magazine you probably find an ad with a Q’Code on it. Many hospitals are going to tablets for use in ERs most tablets don’t have usb, most people have a smartphone or tablet now.
        USB devices often cover the contacts because it is the contacts that can be damaged making the device useless.
        The amount and type of information available from a Q’Code is vast ,many times that of a barcode but what you make public is what is important.
        There are tiny usb memory sticks available small enough to fit in a locket or bracelet engraved with ICE In Case of Emergency . I offered the Q’Code idea freely so you can use it or not.
        Regards Al

        1. Al is right.
          Having worked in IT for 15 years i have seen numerous USB drives fail with PHD’s and honours thesis’ on them.
          As they are electronic memory once they loose the data it is lost forever. No recovery tool will be able to access it.
          As my boss says a usb drive has two states, failed and about to fail.

  5. i wear a medi alert tag around my neck [warfarin] and if i am travelling
    a list of medications in my wallet. No good on your keyring your
    bike could end up a long way from where you are

  6. The idea is good, but I never keep my ignition key on a key ring or bunch of keys so that I don’t have unnecessary weight on the ignition switch and don’t scratch the area surrounding it. Same goes for the car; unnecessary weight on the ignition key can eventually wear out the ignition switch (I’ve had it happen, some decades ago). Anyway, I’m sure a prominent place could be found for the USB key, such as on a jacket zip tag or such-like. ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency”.

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