Sunday, March 18, 2012

New App Uses GPS to Save Lives

The first few minutes in an emergency are crucial and sometimes ambulances and emergency personnel just can’t get there in time. But, if you live in a city, the chances are you are never more than 500 feet from someone who could help and maybe even save your life during an emergency.

That’s the concept behind a new GPS-enabled smartphone app, GoodSAM (or Good Smartphone Activated Medics). It’s currently available for both iOS and Android. There are actually two different apps for this program: one for responders and one for everyone else.

GoodSAM Alerter is the app for the general public and it allows the user to broadcast a call for help during an emergency. When you down and register the app, you can add any important medical details for responders and emergency personnel. When you send out an alert, it not only sends a notice to emergency responders, but it also uses GPS to locate the nearest GoodSAM responder and they will receive an alert as well so that they can get to the scene and help if necessary.

The other half of this rather ingenious idea is the GoodSAM Responder app. The Responder app is meant for medical professionals who are willing and able to help people in need. To use the app, you have to register and prove that you are certified and qualified to give emergency medical treatment by uploading a copy of your most recent medical certificate or some sort of proof of work history (for doctors and nurses). Responders are warned to be careful and there is a ‘reject’ button if they are unable to get to the scene (in a meeting or stuck in traffic, for example). When rejected, it will go the next nearest responder, using GPS positioning.

Currently, the app is mostly aimed at London, where it started, but it has been pretty successful and the developers hope that it will be supported worldwide soon.

Here’s a video about how the app works:

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