Travellers visiting foreign countries may now install an Android app in their smartphones, which could help them contact emergency services if required.
The new app is called Distress Signal, and is being marketed as an ideal companion for British people travelling to foreign countries. The app uses SMS and GPS services to track the person requiring help, and may be a life saver in case of emergencies. It will send a text message with information on location, name, blood group, any allergies, and any other important information to the local emergency services from the user’s smartphone. The new app is also available for iPhone devices.
David Nurse, the managing director of Mesh Trading Ltd, the company that makes the app, said, ‘I realised that millions go abroad each year but wouldn’t know what number to call if they fell ill or were in an accident. Time is of the essence in an emergency, and if you don’t speak the language or know where you are, even if you get the number you might not be able to explain your situation.
That’s why I came up with Distress Signal. I realised that we could use the emergency SMS service developed for those with hearing problems to make it quick and easy for anyone to alert the police, ambulance or fire brigade. It means you don’t waste time and get help quickly.’
David, who himself has fallen sick abroad, where he didn’t know the local language, said, ‘It’s perfect if you don’t know where you are, don’t speak the language of the country you are in, can’t talk because of an intruder or medical problem, don’t have enough signal for a call, or just don’t have time to make the call, because time is critical!’
The texting feature currently is available in the UK, Ireland, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines and Iceland. It is expected to be available across the US and Europe soon.