New medical device to be used at Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

New medical quick response codes will help emergency responders at 2014 marathon

ASHWAUBENON - The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon is a week away.

This year the race will have a new medical safety feature for runners.

"Essentially any QR code application will work," said Tom Krahn.

Krahn is the medical coordinator for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. This year there will be a quick response, or QR, code in the upper left hand corner of every runner's bib.

The code will hold medical information runners provided via email. The information goes a personal health record database called SynChart.

"Once we scan that QR code, the runners can enter in multiple emergency contacts so we'll be able to see that. We'll be able to see their previous medical history or any medical conditions that they may want to share with the medical provider on the course," Krahn said.

Race director Sean Ryan said he's expecting more than 14,000 participants in this year's race.

"Over 40 percent of the participants now have responded," said Ryan.

Ryan said it's a number he wasn't expecting especially since this is the first year the race is providing medical QR codes.

"I did not think we would get even over 10 percent of the people filling it out, but I guess given the ability to plan ahead and to think about the issue, people are a little more responsible about saying yes," Ryan said.

There will be more than 20 medical stations just over a mile apart along the marathon and half marathon routes.

First responders say SynChart is a lifesaving tool to have.

"This is going to give us that critical information when we need it most," Krahn said.

It will be 73-year-old Gene Menor's 15th year participating in the event and he said safety is his top priority on race day.

"I carry my own records. I've got a bracelet with all my phone numbers, doctors, address and phone number so to me it's a very good thing," said Menor.

Menor said he plans on using the SynChart.

But for runners who may be concerned about the program, Krahn said only medical staffers will have access to the information on race day and they will be required to enter a personal identification number.

"As soon as the race is over, after race day, everything is obsolete. Nothing will work and runners can rest assured knowing that their information is safe," said Krahn.

Medical personnel with the marathon said all of the information runners provide is voluntary and runners are not required to participate.