According to the World Health Organization, more people die from a lack of timely care than from Aids, TB and malaria combined. Millions of people worldwide don’t have access to reliable emergency care, and the ones that do are often faced with large expenses and delays. A new startup called MUrgency wants to change that. The team’s cloud platform and mobile app together form a worldwide, decentralized emergency response network that can be accessed by a tap on the user’s smartphone.
The MUrgency database is comprised of a trusted network of doctors, nurses, paramedics, Red Cross volunteers, and more, who supply real time support when requested. In the event that they need care, a user can activate this network by tapping the “Alert My MUrgency Network” button on the mobile app. The service then finds and alerts the nearest first responders. Virtual bodyguards can also help lone users navigate through situations via video, audio or chat messaging, establishing vital communication channels that could save lives. The app also lets users shout out to others within their network — friends, neighbors, and loved ones — who will be notified so they can provide help. In addition, the service can also locate nearby emergency facilities, ranging from hospitals, to police stations, pharmacies and others.
Though some may question the app’s logistics — would relying on volunteers really work? — the widened criteria of certified aiders, as well as the added option of virtual assistance has reduced response time by more than half in Dubai, and from 8-12 minutes to 2.54 minutes in Israel. MUrgency is available for free on Google Play and the App Store. What other difficult to access, but necessary human rights can be decentralized in this way?