Discuss Diabetes
« Prev ArticleNext Article »

Modern Medical ID Jewelry: Not the same old bracelets

For those living with diabetes and other medical conditions

Laura KolodjeskiLaura Kolodjeski

I think we all know what the typical medical ID bracelet looks like. The silver linked bracelet has a long plate with a red symbol on one side and a person’s medical condition(s) on the other. For ages, these bracelets have served a very important purpose, but were not exactly the height of fashion. All of that has changed.

Medical ID jewelry is no longer all the same. You can now find it in a variety of styles, colors, sizes and in more than just bracelet form. For those living with diabetes, this has to be good news. In listening to the diabetes community, I have heard that many of you understand the importance of wearing medical ID jewelry, but for a number of reasons choose not to. With the new types of medical ID jewelry, some of the biggest concerns may now be alleviated.

According to a Joslin Diabetes Center article, medical ID jewelry allows bystanders and paramedics to quickly figure out one’s medical condition(s) should there be a need. In the case of an emergency, you may not be able to tell emergency personnel that you have diabetes or any other medical condition. So wearing a medical ID bracelet can be very helpful to emergency personnel in times of crisis.

Hope Paige Medical ID Bracelets

Hope Paige Medical ID Bracelets

So what should be on your medical ID bracelet? Joslin says to keep it simple and concise. Diabetes should be engraved boldly on one side of the ID jewelry plate, while the other side should say insulin dependent or medication controlled. Other important information you can include are an emergency contact number, your physician’s name and a possible referral to another place for information – like your smartphone or a card you keep in your wallet or purse.

So let’s get to the fun part – all these latest styles to choose from. Here are some sites that offer varieties of medical ID jewelry:

  • Hope Paige Medical ID bracelets – They are heavy on the varieties of bracelets, which can fit most ages and most styles. There are rubber bracelets, similar to a Livestrong bracelet, which have the medical ID plates on them and are likely very rugged. They also have some beaded, crystal styles that would look very nice with a dress or work outfit.
  • Sticky J Jewelry – They have a large number of diabetes-specific medical jewelry in a variety of different styles. The leather bracelets really caught my eye. They look a lot like a wrist watch and can be found in men’s, women’s and children’s styles.
  • American Medical ID – As we mentioned before, there are more than just bracelets available and one of the more innovative items I saw was their USB dog tag ID. The dog tag hangs from a necklace and can be engraved with medical conditions, but also features a USB flash drive that can store your medical information. The flash drive comes with pre-loaded forms that you can fill out for the use at a hospital or doctor’s office.
  • Rescue Me ID’s – While this site has bracelets, they specialize in alternative ways to carry medical ID plates. They have some ways of wearing the ID plates that are non-traditional, like shoe tags, zipper charms and even temporary tattoos. This goes along with the trend that a bracelet is not for everyone. For kids and many of the guys, these may be easier and less obtrusive options to choose from.

As you can see, the options are broad enough to fit almost anyone’s style. So, it comes back to the old saying, “an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.” I’d love to hear about or even see (send your pictures) what medical ID jewelry you’re wearing.

All the best,

Laura K.

« Prev ArticleNext Article »


  1. Bandelz
    November 9th, 2012, 1:40 PM

    I like the jewelry approach to medical ID bracelets. These bracelets are a good way for us to embrace our conditions and be proud of who we are. Another good one is http://www.bandelz.com/


    1. Laura
      November 9th, 2012, 2:17 PM

      Thanks for the feedback Ben! It seems that a lot of people like the idea of more modernized Medical ID Jewelry. Best, Laura K

  2. StaceyD
    October 19th, 2011, 2:02 PM

    Those are great sites that you have listed. Another great one is http://www.laurenshope.com/.

    1. Laura
      October 19th, 2011, 2:04 PM

      Great addition! Thanks, Stacey!

      Laura K.

  3. tmana
    October 19th, 2011, 7:16 AM

    While the bracelets and dog tags that don’t scream “medical ID” are fashionable, the diabetes community has had many issues with First Responders missing or ignoring medical IDs because they were on dogtags, sneaker tags, tattooed on, or in wallet cards (or on smartphones). I’ve even read stories of one or two cases of First Responders only checking the wrist of whichever arm they are using to take a patient’s vital signs.

    It seems to me that the less one’s medical-alert jewelry looks like the traditional Medic-Alert® bracelet, the less effective it will be in grabbing that First Responder’s attention.

    That said — it’s much better to wear SOME sort of medical alert jewelry (or tattoo) than none at all.

    1. Laura
      October 19th, 2011, 9:45 AM

      Hi tmana,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s really helpful to hear the different perspectives, particularly when it comes to the safety of our readers! Your comment is certainly worth considering when choosing your medical ID jewelry.

      Laura K.