Developed by a group of six students of the Birla Institute of Technolgy and Science (BITS), an Android-based app provides quick information on first-aid measures and also connects users to the National Emergency Helpline, among other important live-saving features.
When was the last time you learned how to administer first-aid in specific situations? What if there is something you could possibly do to help your loved ones while waiting for that ambulance, in case they had chest pains or choked on something?
In order to educate and inform people about first-aid practices, six college students have designed a first-of-its-kind official mobile app for first-aid in collaboration with the Indian Red Cross Society (ICRS).
This group of students from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) – Tushar Dhalwani (Pilani campus), Rishabh Garg (Pilani campus), Bhuvan Gupta (Goa campus), Akansha Pandey (Hyderabad campus), Shrey Bansal (Hyderabad campus) and Rahul Mittal (Hyderabad campus) – were interning with ICRS in New Delhi for seven weeks during the summer where they were asked to develop a first-aid app.
As computer science students, it was right up their alley, but they had their fair share of impediments along the way. “It was a challenge to get to know each other and work together in such a short period of time. Additionally, ICRS didn’t have an IT department to guide us through,” shares Tushar.
The students designed the entire app on their own by brainstorming and taking inspiration from first-aid apps developed by British, American, and Canadian Red Cross societies.
The app was eventually launched on August 30 this year. It is Android-based and contains instructions and information regarding medical emergencies (heart attacks, bleeding, snake bites, amputation, etc.) and how to respond to them. “It was important to make the user interface friendly and easily understandable for all. People often forget about first-aid. In some cases, when they rush to hospitals, they don’t realise or know that they can do something about the emergency themselves,” he adds.
The app also has a one-tap call feature to connect with the National Emergency Helpline (102), which most people are unaware of or prefer not to use. It also allows the user to save three favourite contacts that one would like to call during an emergency.
The app can also use GPS on the mobile phone to locate all the nearest hospitals in your vicinity within a 5 km-radius using Google Maps and will navigate you to it through the shortest possible route.
Compared to other first-aid apps in other countries, this app has a better user interface with bigger and clearer icons and pictures and is easy to use. “The idea is also for other engineering students like us to understand that one can also and should contribute to the social sector with our existing skills,” Tushar says. The mobile app is available for free download on all Android-based phones and is a digitized version of a first-aid manual published by the Indian Red Cross and the Belgian Red Cross last year.
Most other countries have their own first-aid apps that restrict usage to its country and are inaccessible to Indian users. This is what made the need for an official first-aid app for India even greater. Since its launch, the first-aid app has garnered nearly 5,000 users across the country in cities like New Delhi and Bengaluru.
You can download the app here.