The QRepublik MED ID is a simple, yet comfortable medical ID bracelet. Unlike most full-profile medical alert bracelets, it doesn't rely on a USB drive to store your critical medical information. Instead, you scan a QR code with a smartphone and enter the information via a webpage. The QRepublik earned my pick for best value because it's a comfortable medical ID bracelet capable of providing emergency responders with a full profile of your medical needs, and it costs less than $15.
At about $13, the QRepublik MED ID is among the most affordable options for a medical alert bracelet. Even when compared to simple med ID bracelets that only print the most basic information on a metal plate, like the ROAD ID Sport, this bracelet is among the most affordable.
Rather than using software to record your medical information, you log into the QRepublik website. The interface is very easy to navigate and the data entry is simple, earning a B+ for ease of use. The information you can enter doesn't compare to the comprehensive profiles you can create with the Key2Life Sport and Key2Life Paracord, but it does cover all the important information – diseases, conditions, allergies and medications. It also allows you to enter tourist information, so if you have an emergency while on vacation, responders know how to treat you and who to contact.
The biggest downside to the QRepublic MED ID is the access of the data, which earned a C grade for ease of access. For emergency responders to see your critical medical information, they must scan a QR code on a slip of paper, which slips into a pocket under the Velcro. This poses two issues. First, you have to hope the EMT has a QR code reader on their phone. I had to download an app to read the QR code. Secondly, the QR code is printed on a rather flimsy piece of paper, which slips into a hidden pocket. In an emergency, you have to hope the EMT thinks to look for hidden pockets. Otherwise, they aren't going to find your QR code.
Comfort & Style
The QRepublik MED ID is a simple canvas bracelet with Velcro. This provides excellent all-day comfort because you can easily adjust the fit to your preferences for tightness. However, it lacks a leverage loop (the plastic loop on one end of a strap), and this makes putting it on one-handed awkward. It also means the fit can loosen throughout the day, so you may need to readjust.
It was very comfortable during my workout session, but it received a D grade for sport comfort primarily because the sweat damaged the QR code. Since it's printed on paper, it's not designed to hold up to moisture. After one session of exercise, the QR code was already starting to blur from being wet. And there is no discernable way to replace the paper from the online store, aside from ordering a card for your wallet. In addition, canvas straps, while comfortable, retain sweat more than silicone or metal, and this poses a hygiene issue – eventually, it is going to start to smell.
The QRepublik MED ID is the most affordable full-profile medical ID bracelet on the market. It has one of the easiest interfaces for creating a viewable medical record so emergency responders can adequately treat you. However, the reliance on a QR code is a concern, as is the fact it's printed on paper.