Technology in your pocket can save time and save lives:
When responding to a medical emergency, response time and the exact location of the patient can be critical to the outcome. Thanks to a new partnership between Netcare 911 and South African mobile application mySOS, smartphone technology is helping to get you the help you need, faster than ever before.
“Netcare 911 has always made every possible effort to accelerate the process of getting professional assistance to those in need. We therefore welcome the important service offered by mySOS, as swift notification and accuracy in locating patients will help paramedics to reach medical emergencies quicker, which can often significantly improve a patient’s prospects of survival,” chief operating officer of Netcare 911, Craig Grindell explains.
In an emergency, the mySOS app sends an alert to Netcare 911’s national emergency operations centre, or other relevant emergency services, and your selected loved ones to show them your GPS location. This enables Netcare 911 to mobilise the assistance you need in the shortest possible time.
The app also includes a setting that can track you when you are exercising or travelling, either by car, by bicycle, or on foot. If you do not reach your destination within a time limit set by yourself, the app will alert your emergency contacts, giving them your position and a map of the route you took, while continuing to track your location. This potentially lifesaving service is designed to be efficient as it uses minimal battery power on your phone.
“Early activation helps to reduce response times and in a life threatening emergency this has been proven to improve outcomes. Therefore, with this facet of the app, your emergency contacts would be notified that you have not completed your journey, so that they can find out if you are in any trouble and alert Netcare 911, if needed, on 082 911, and give the call taker your GPS location,” Grindell elaborates.
“A GPS location assists emergency medical services to find those needing emergency medical assistance, even if they are somewhere that does not have an exact street address, or if they are riding or walking off-road when a crisis strikes.”
The app’s use of Global Positioning System (GPS) co-ordinates is particularly useful for those responding to emergency situations. This is because a number of streets may have the same name and, if the caller does not specify the correct suburb, valuable time may be lost due to confusion about the location. In other cases the caller may be disorientated, after being involved in an accident, for example. “The benefit of GPS co-ordinates is that the location is distinct and exact, which assists us in dispatching help to the right place, first time,” Grindell notes.
Dr Fanie Hattingh, one of the founders of mySOS, says that the app, which is available for iPhone or Android smartphones, is easy to use and cost effective. “mySOS provides extra peace of mind, particularly for people who travel, participate in outdoor sports, concerned parents, and even anxious pet owners. This technology was designed to save precious time when you need it the most.”
Once you are registered, mySOS provides a range of quick and easy-to-access services for a host of emergency situations. You no longer need to spend time searching for emergency numbers, explaining directions to your location and alerting your loved ones – mySOS will take care of all of this, with absolute accuracy.
The app also shows you details of hospitals, police stations, doctors, dentists, pharmacies and veterinary services near your location, where you can search for your preferred or nearest service provider. You can find, phone or navigate to these services using the app.
mySOS can be downloaded at https://www.mysos.co.za/download.html. When registering on the app, you are requested to enter contact numbers and email addresses for your chosen emergency contacts. The app also sends the relevant demographic and medical information that will assist the Netcare 911 dispatcher in sending the correct resource to help with your specific emergency.
If you are a Netcare patient, client or member of a medical aid affiliated with the Netcare Group or Netcare 911, mySOS will link you to the Netcare 911 profile. A “button” with the Netcare 911 logo will appear on your mySOS screen, and this will provide you with direct 24-hour access to the Netcare 911 national emergency operations centre for all emergencies.