The QRepublik MED ID is comfy enough for all-day wear, and unlike most of the full-profile option in our guide to the best medical alert bracelets (opens in new tab), 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 your health data via a webpage. The QRepublik MED ID also costs less than $15, yet it still provides emergency responders with a full profile of your medical needs.
The QRepublik MED ID is not to be confused with the best medical alert systems (opens in new tab), which are used in the home, and sometimes along the best fall detection (opens in new tab) sensors, to alert a 24/7 care team if you fall and need assistance in your home.
The world of health ID bracelets has really evolved since the QRepublik MED ID was first released, so is it still a worthy contender, or should you instantly choose one of the newer bracelets? Let's take a look at the band's design, features and performance to help you make a decision...
QRepublik MED ID: Features and design
Often on sale for around $15, the QRepublik MED ID is one of the most affordable medical ID bands you can buy. Even when compared to simple bracelets that only print the most basic information on a metal plate, such as the ROAD ID Sport (opens in new tab), 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 easy to navigate and the data entry is simple. The information you enter doesn't compare to the comprehensive profiles you can create with the Key 2 Life Sport, 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 a medical emergency while on vacation, responders know how to treat you and who to contact back home. The biggest downside to the QRepublic MED ID is data 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. Firstly, you have to hope the EMT has a QR code reader on their phone - we had to download an app to read the QR code for the purposes of this review. Secondly, the QR code is printed on a flimsy piece of paper, which slips into a hidden pocket at the back of the bracelet. 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 and therefore they won't find your data.
QRepublik MED ID: Performance
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 our workout sessions, but we noticed that 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 moist, so we cannot recommend this band for use during exercise.
Adding to this, there's no way to replace the paper, 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 will start to smell.
Should you buy the QRepublik MED ID?
The QRepublik MED ID is the most affordable full-profile medical data ID band you can buy. 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, are not great.