FoCo police, UCHealth launch ‘digital medical ID’ program
FORT COLLINS — Fort Collins police and UCHealth co-responders will begin using the Vitals App to help address the medical conditions, disabilities, and mental health challenges of people they encounter.
The use of the Vitals App is the first by a police agency in Colorado and also marks a new partnership between Fort Collins police and UCHealth.
According to information from Fort Collins police, the Vitals App allows a person or caregiver to download an app and voluntarily provide information about medical conditions, intellectual and developmental conditions or disabilities, memory loss and mental health challenges. The account profiles often include de-escalation cues and techniques, behavior triggers and current medications. The app has been described as a “real-time digital medical ID.”
“We are excited to bring the Vitals App to Fort Collins and the state of Colorado. We believe this powerful technology will help our officers and co-responders initiate less stressful and more successful interactions in our community,” Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said in a written statement.
“As we navigate the complex intersection of public safety and mental health, I’m confident that Fort Collins Police Services and our partners will continue to collaborate and innovate to meet the needs of our community. The Vitals program is one of many ways we’re working to ensure safety and service for all.”
UCHealth has seen the value of the new app.
“We have so many patients who can benefit from the Vitals App. We think this is a fantastic resource for the co-responders working alongside police officers. This is a great way for public health and mental health professionals to partner with public safety to help keep residents safe,” said Stephanie Booco, co-responder program supervisor for UCHealth.Lea Anne Paskvalich, executive director of the Autism Society of Colorado, said she hopes the app will help foster a cultural change in community policing. “I know that we have constituents who will benefit from this service. This app will give autistic individuals and their families more peace of mind and a tangible way to help protect themselves,” Paskvalich said.