At Sprout Insights, we comb the web to bring you the most up-to-date and actionable resources on how to use social media to grow your business.

To that end, we’re pleased to present the Sprout Insights series Spotlight on Startups. We’ll find the most innovative, useful startup companies out there, get the inside track on what they’re doing, and tell you how you can leverage their products and services for your own business.

This week we’re pleased to cast the spotlight on EmergencyLink — a free, emergency response service that stores your vital information and emergency contacts, headquartered in El Segundo, CA.

What Is EmergencyLink?

What Is EmergencyLink?

Spotlight on Startups - EmergencyLink

Picture this: You’ve just been in an accident, you’re unconscious and hurt. How will emergency responders know if you have any existing medical conditions that may impact your treatment? Do they have any way of contacting your loved ones or other emergency contacts to let them know your condition? If you’re not sure of the answer, or have never even given it any thought, then the EmergencyLink service may be for you.

EmergencyLink stores your vital medical information and directives, and makes this information available to first responders in the event of an emergency. EmergencyLink provides members with key chain ID rings, ID cards, driver’s license stickers, and even a cell phone screen saver with a 1-800 number that emergency personnel can call to access your medical information.

EmergencyLink will then phone all of the people you’ve designated as emergency contacts, letting them know your condition and location. You can even store electronic copies of your non-medical, vital information, like your will, insurance papers, bank accounts, and so on. This acts as a backup and recovery option in the event that your original documents are inaccessible, lost, or destroyed.

What Needs Does it Address?

In the event of an emergency, you may be incapacitated and not be able to speak for yourself. Your wallet and driver’s license may contain some identifying information about you, but often lacks a home phone number or other emergency contact information.

This problem is more common than you think. According to Michael Soenen, CEO of EmergencyLink, each year in the U.S., over 1 million people are admitted to hospitals, unconscious, and without emergency contact information of any kind. This hinders medical staff significantly as they have no way of knowing if these people have any existing medical conditions or concerns which might impact their treatment. Furthermore, without contact information, medical staff waste precious time trying to determine next of kin, or even basic information like the personal identity of their patients.

Having all of this information on file, and available only to verified first responders and trusted friends, family and contacts, may save your life — or mitigate the anguish of your loved ones in the event of a personal emergency.

Simply going through the process of thinking about and organizing all of your critical medical and non-medical information is a useful exercise for you to do. And of course, having a secure repository for all of your non-medical information may also prove to be vital, should your original documents be lost or destroyed.

Unexpected emergencies happen all the time. Trying to get all of your proverbial ducks in a row after a disaster strikes is at best, inconvenient, and at worst, impossible. Using a service like EmergencyLink can give you and your family peace of mind and potentially life-saving support in an emergency situation.

How You Can Leverage EmergencyLink

How You Can Leverage EmergencyLink

As with many of the startups featured in our Spotlight series, the best way to leverage EmergencyLink is to sign up — immediately — to its service. Let your friends, family and other contacts know what you’re up to and start a conversation about emergency preparedness. You never know, it could just save your life!

On a business level, there may also be forthcoming opportunities to partner with EmergencyLink. The company plans to present its members with “offers from insurance, financial and other companies” that it believes you may benefit from. Given that active members of EmergencyLink are probably thinking a lot about things like wills, insurance, emergency preparedness, and so on, it’s likely that partners in these verticals will have a very receptive target audience for their products and services.

To find out more about the EmergencyLink service, or partnership opportunities, check out the company’s FAQ page, contact page, or connect through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Check your wallet. Do you have any emergency contact information available for first responders? Let is know in the comments!

[Image credits: EmergencyLink]