The application development and systems integration firm plans to enlist more than 5,000 patients, each of whom will wear an 8MB flash memory card that will store his or her medical records.
The trial aims to prove that the device would enable doctors to treat patients properly. John Trahan, Matrevic's vice-president of partner development, claimed that doctors using the device could access a patient's entire medical history and medications quickly by plugging the memory card into a PC equipped with a flash memory reader.
Trahan added that his company plans to encourage widespread adoption of the technology by persuading healthcare organisations to pay for the product.
A 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine in the US revealed that as many as 98,000 Americans die from medical errors every year. So far, the concept of a medical smartcard has not gained momemtum because of the potential for security breaches if the card was lost.