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An App Developed in Kolkata Will Now Help You Book an Ambulance in Real-Time

Traffic, availability of ambulances in the vicinity and a lack of an organised effort to ensure ambulance availability across various locations are significant challenges that need to be overcome.

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In October 2014, a pregnant woman sustained injuries to her abdomen. Even after calling for an ambulance, she had to be taken to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw, after waiting for more than two hours.

The sad part is it never did.

In September last year, a pregnant woman lost her life because of the late arrival of the ambulance.

Traffic jam
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

We read about such incidents often enough across the nation. And yet, as commuters, when we see an ambulance stuck in traffic, there is nothing much that we can do, other than perhaps to pray that the injured person holds on until the ambulance reaches them.

Isn’t this a very hapless situation to be in?

Traffic, availability of ambulances in the vicinity and a lack of an organised effort to ensure ambulance availability across various locations are significant challenges that need to be overcome.

A study by the Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 2012 found that 28% of the 70,768 emergency calls received between March 2009 and May 2010 in the city was refused because of the shortage of ambulances.

The West Bengal Government, in collaboration with Ideation Technology, a young tech-start-up, is making an effort to fix this by leveraging technology.

Representational image
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this year, to ease the usage of public transportation in Kolkata – an app called ‘Pathadisha’ was launched by the West Bengal Government to provide people with comprehensive information about local buses.

By leveraging technology, one is able to see the kind of information one can find with private players like Uber and Ola.

For instance, people with the app will be able to access real-time information on the exact location of the buses as well as information on all the incoming and outgoing buses at a particular bus stop.

People can also find out the expected time of arrival for a specific bus.

Extending the usage of this app further to essential services like ambulances, a report in TOI stated, “Now, users can spot an ambulance in his or her vicinity on Pathadisha app and get details about fare and facilities. Initiate the call by clicking the live ambulance icon. The nodal agency, hospital or the ambulance operator will receive the call and input necessary details through control-room applications,” said Sanjoy Chatterjee, co-founder of Ideation Technology and the brains behind the initiative.

While as of now only a few private and government ambulances are covered by this app, soon all ambulances in the city will be covered by this app.

You can download the app here.

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