Beth Tofel is the co-founder and president of FootprintID, a personal portable health record that helps users access, share and keep track of medical records.
Health Tech World hears from the co-founder and president of FootprintID, Beth Tofel, about the platform’s mission to save the lives of business travelers and help organisations fulfill their duty of care.
The platform has 5 million users worldwide and partnerships with organisations like Generali and TripMate.
Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
My name is Beth Tofel and I am the co-founder and president of FootprintID and our sister company PawprintID.
I graduated from Brandeis University with a BS in Mathematics. I initially focused my career in the actuarial field. I have two children, who I raised in NJ and spent the majority of those years volunteering where the focus was on child safety, education and wellbeing.
What was the motivation behind Footprint ID?
Picture this: In 2010, in the throes of excitedly planning a thrilling safari trip, I was jolted by an unexpected twist. My daughter needed an emergency appendectomy, just two weeks out. The scare got my gears turning: What if this had happened miles away from home, in the bush? It was that lightning-bolt realisation and a few serendipitous encounters – particularly with tech guru Jason Hubert – that led to the birth of FootprintID. Today, it’s more than a business or a product for me; it’s a personal lifesaver navigating my family’s health adventures.
Life is unpredictable; mine’s been a rollercoaster of events, some by choice and others by pure chance. But each bump and twist, especially my daughter’s health scare, showed me there’s an urgent need for on-the-go health records. And trust me, when it comes to health, you don’t want to play the guessing game!
What makes the platform different to other similar concepts on the market?
We’re not just another health platform; we’re your health’s best buddy. Think of FootprintID as your 24/7 digital medic, always ready, always reliable. Whether you’re climbing the Alps, lounging on a Caribbean beach, or just visiting a new local clinic, your medical history is right there with you. No more medical mishaps due to missing details. And, in dire times? We’ve got you covered when words might fail you, like in a severe COVID-19 scenario. Our tool is a game-changer, turning challenges into opportunities for care like never before!
Not only does this benefit the member, it enhances the duty of care program /considerations of any travel or hospitality provider and gives better resources to physicians or other medical providers who may be working to save your life. Especially if you’re unable to speak, like for example if you were on a ventilator because of COVID-19 and couldn’t communicate your previous health history, it might take the hospital staff hours to look up your prior records and be able to provide proper care or administer the right medications.
With our tool, this isn’t a factor because your entire health history is available at your fingertips but secured in a way that maximises the safety of your important information.
We are helping to solve the issue associated with lack of easy and timely access to your relevant medical information when away from home. I talked about it above, but there are so many pain points associated with not being able to get proper care for yourself or for your loved ones when they need it.
Especially in the case of an emergency, and especially if you’re travelling abroad where you’re not interacting with your typical doctor or you’re interacting with emergency health providers. Saving that time can really mean the difference between life and death, and it’s so important to have, for peace of mind or for actually saving your life.
Can you talk me through how it works in practice?
It’s simpler than you’d think! Organisations (like your employer, benefits provider, credit card, travel insurance, senior benefits program, membership associations, and more) will grant you the golden key – your membership. Just input your data, upload those essential docs, and voilà! Whether you’re wrangling kids, caring for Grandma, or even ensuring Fido’s allergies are well-known, FootprintID (and PawprintID) is your trusty sidekick.
If you want to purchase your own membership, outside of an organisation, we have an easy to use signup on our website, and we make it very affordable for individuals.
In what ways is the platform improving patient outcomes? Have you any research/data to support this?
No more déjà vu tests or lost-in-translation medical terms. Our platform is tearing down barriers, speeding up diagnoses, and making those international medical dramas a thing of the past. Remember, in a crunch, every second counts, and having FootprintID is like having a medical superhero in your pocket.
What feedback have you had from users?
Our users? They’re singing our praises! Every tweak, every upgrade we roll out is met with thumbs-ups and cheers. We’re not just serving; we’re revolutionising their health experience.
What challenges have you faced on your journey as a founder so far?
From grappling with disconnecting to confronting those pesky self-doubts (and trust me, there were many), the road’s been bumpy. But here’s the kicker: every “no” just fueled my drive to push forward. Why? Because I believe, down to my very core, in the power of FootprintID.
What have been your biggest successes or milestones?
Breaking into the travel insurance scene with our service in millions of policies? That wasn’t just a win; it was a grand slam. Our collaborations globally have put FootprintID in over 5 million pockets. And that’s just the start.
What can we expect from FootprintID in the future?
Hold onto your hats! We’re always in innovation mode, looking to jazz up our features, and AI. It’s on our horizon. We’re setting our sights on the booming senior care market and gearing up for a grand entry. And don’t forget our feisty sibling, PawprintID; it’s gearing up to take the pet world by storm.
We’re constantly looking at ways we can improve and add more features. We’re looking at ways to safely and appropriately incorporate AI down the road, as that becomes possible. We’re building features now that make FootprintID a core management tool for organizations with travelers, members, and employees, as well as their family members and pets. We’re also anticipating a big entry into the senior care market as it continues to grow; it’s expected to double over the next decade as baby boomers enter that phase in their lives.
We’re anticipating FootprintID and our sister platform PawprintID will continue to scale as we onboard new organizations and partners.
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