Blogging about EHRs from a social service perspective

The future of QR codes

English: Version 3 QR code example

English: Version 3 QR code example (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone recently told me that QR codes were no longer trendy and would be fading away shortly.  I think the verdict is still out on QR codes.  First, only half of adults own smartphones.  There’s still room there for growth.  Second, I think they’re still in the ‘neat’ phase, and not necessarily in the ‘useful’ phase.  I’ve mostly seen QR codes in advertisements for products, either in magazines or posters.  “Scan this code to see a 3-D display of xxx.”  Neat.  Not useful.

I was at a museum recently that featured QR codes.  They were pictured on the wall descriptions of certain items.  My problem is that the signage did not include descriptions of where the QR code lead.  While there is some initial excitement around discovering where scanning QR codes lead, it grows old fast.

Most of the time, the QR code led to a website with further info. about the topic, which might be useful to someone who has the whole day to spend not only looking at exhibits, but also reading webpages about topics.  It would have been nice to see QR codes that led to interactive webpages, or useful apps to download.  This would add to the museum experience rather than repetition.

An example of ‘useful’ QR codes is using them to link to Personal Health Records (PHR).  I understand My Crisis Record is working on, or has developed a QR code emergency card.  The patient carries it in their wallet so if there’s an emergency, emergency techs can scan the QR code and be taken to a page that allows them to connect with a PHR team to get vital health information on that patient.  A bracelet with a QR code would be even better, esp. for dementia patients.

I found another ‘useful’ QR code while waiting for my lab appt.  On the wall was a poster advertising an app that alerted me when my lab results were ready and allowed for instant viewing.  Scanning the QR code from the poster led to downloading their app.  (Contrary to my usual form, I will skip the part about security concerns.  THIS time.)

I believe that QR codes haven’t been utilized to their full potential yet.  As technology develops, demand will increase for easier ways to access information.

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2012 by in PHRs and tagged , , , , .


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