Digital technologies have a great potential to help people who’re stranded in perilous situations. From simple find a doctor app, open databases, interactive maps, telehealth services, text-bots and even drones are a few example allowing first response teams to act quickly and effectively during disasters. Here’s how;
The Atlantic Ocean brewing hurricanes consecutively
The Atlantic coast and Caribbean Islands were hit hard by a series of hurricanes in same months but there seems no end to it. August 2017 marked the month when it all began with the arrival of Hurricane Harvey in Texas leaving at-least 40 dead with more than 30,000 in need of immediate temporary shelters since their homes were submerged.
Following the devastation of the storm, nearly 56,000 emergency calls were placed in Houston on August 26th and fortunately, police and first responders were able to rescue around 3,500 people from the drenched city and inundated areas.
As if it weren’t enough, a more powerful, extremely dangerous and menacing Category 5 Hurricane Irma formed in the Atlantic Ocean. This particular storm was so intense that it even showed up on seismograph; a scale originally used to monitor earthquake. Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean Islands with winds exceeding 180 kilometres-per-hour.
After laying waste to the Caribbean, the storm made its way to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Florida leaving a trail of destruction and millions without power or communication. As we speak, yet another Category 5 Hurricane Maria pounded what little remains in the Caribbean leaving people at the mercy of nature.
This is when digital technology steps in with find a doctor app to help those in immediate need of medical assistance.
When medical facilities purge, digital technology surges
In the event of natural disasters, being connected with our loved ones is more important than ever so that getting timely information and rescuing them is easier. Since hurricanes strike medical and non-medical facilities alike, there has to be something people can rely on during emergencies. Both Harvey and Irma rendered even the most sophisticated medical facilities flooded or damage in a way putting patients in peril.
In such situations, one can’t turn to hospitals and pharmacies in the same way as usual but, technology lends a helping hand to reach out including find a doctor app, social media platforms and open data. Highly creative, active and swift software developers and drones are the best bet for people in need of immediate help during disasters.
Tech giants to the rescue
Social media, online maps and interactive websites have a huge potential to aid first response teams in rescuing the abandoned. In the near future, saving people stranded in disaster-stricken area is likely to become smoother thanks to Google Maps and the way it organises traffic. It also knows where a particular user(s) is thereby analysing traffic and rescue operations accordingly.
While we aren’t yet there, many tech giants including Facebook, Google and many others have a pool of priceless resources to help those in need and it’s generous of them to actually lay a helping hand without asking anything in return.
The search giant, Google also added Houston and Texas specific alerts in combination with SOS alerts to the map layers thereby detailing emergency contact numbers, interactive maps, relief fundraisers and many other resources. In fact, Google Maps also informed about closed roads and tracks in Florida ahead Hurricane Irma allowing people to choose a safer path.
Joining the rescue efforts is Facebook which activated the Safety Check service for both Hurricane Irma and Harvey letting users know whether their beloved are in need of help or being impacted by the disaster. Find a doctor app helped members of the rescue team to connect with victims and provide immediate care.
In second part of the series, we’ll look more as to how digital technology can serve healthcare in a better way during disasters and help users get connected to medical specialists with simple find a doctor app.