COHUM started with an accident, and by accident. One fine day, walking in her safe, green neighbourhood, a seventy-year old woman had a little accident, stumbled and fell. As usual with many people on their morning walk, she wasn’t carrying any ID, people don’t like to carry anything while walking. She fell on her mouth, which became swollen and she couldn’t speak well enough to be understood, so the phone call she made was dismissed as bad connectivity by her family. She has diabetes. Blood thinners residing in her body for years together wouldn’t let her blood clot. Dazed from the fall, she sat on the side of the road till a passer-by stopped to help. Even then, she could barely speak, but somehow she was taken home and all was well again. Her daughter saw how easy it would have been for this positive outcome to have been a negative one. What if she was unconscious and taken directly to the hospital? Usually in such cases the treating facility ‘waits’ for the relatives to come over and take charge. She decided to do something about it. Researching on the internet, she knew what her problem was, but couldn’t find a complete solution.
Taking their cues from each part of this little story, her daughter and son-in-law, Meenal and Parag Harolikar put together a holistic approach to dealing with accidents and medical emergencies, something one can do proactively to help themselves in case they themselves are victims. As mentioned above, the Time to Treatment in India really needs to be reduced. Treatment needs to start within the Golden Hour. To this end, they created a WEARABLE ID system, completely geared toward India’s peculiar and unique challenges. In the first phase, the COHUM system (COHUM means ‘Who Am I’, in Sanskrit) is made up of three main components: A WEARABLE ID, A 24-7 HOTLINE and a secure, encrypted medical records DATABASE. Together, these would be the ‘constant friend in need’ that all can benefit from.
Research for this project included CCTV footage, expert opinions & scholarly articles and existing solutions around the world. In India, the truth is that around half of us want to help the victim of an emergency or accident, and the other half are only interested in getting what they can (mobiles, wallets) out of someone else’s distress. Therefore, it was decided to make the Wearable ID something that has no resale / street value. Even in cases where bystanders want to help, the time and effort that they have to commit to, makes them rethink about helping people. But when you are wearing a COHUM ID, all they have to do is call COHUM, and the COHUM team will take it from there. A phone call is all it takes to ensure that you are in the best hands.
Another issue is that your emergency contact person may not necessarily have all the required emergency info at hand, for all possible locations. Panic and unpreparedness also may hamper their efforts. Hence it was decide to have a 24-7 hotline to attend to calls so that emergencies will be handled calmly, professionally and efficiently. While travelling, people do not necessarily have all their medical information on hand, and this can cause delays during a medical emergency or an accident. This led to the creation of the digital (secure and encrypted) medical records database, so that relevant medical records may be sent anywhere in the world within minutes.
Around 400 people die in India every DAY on the road. India has one of the largest populations of Diabetics in the world (around 70 million). The numbers of Empty Nesters are also on the rise with the increase in Nuclear families. All these are groups which can benefit greatly from the COHUM system.
The complete COHUM system with these three main features was launched in January 2017. Trials are going on now for the second phase which incorporates GPS enabled devices, biometrics and so on.
Each COHUM member is responsible for keeping their COHUM account (and medical records) up to date. Each account is run by an admin (for example the child of a senior citizen can run their account for them). The filling up of critical information takes less than 5 minutes. Members can choose from various types of IDs and two Service plans. The main difference in the two plans is whether your ID is engraved with COHUM’s 24-7 hotline or the your own Emergency contact person’s number
To customize your very own COHUM ID, please go to www.cohum.co and register yourself.