App Reviews

I Am Alive – It’s All about Being Alive

Developers need to think out of the box and address real life problems. You cannot really taste success by developing tried and tested apps. A classic example would be developing a Subway Surfer or Temple Run themed game app, where the main character runs along the road. You need to think of an app that people could really use and one that hasn’t really be made before. This is where the I am alive scores. In fact, the app brings out a dimension of mHealth apps that not many have gone into before.

Where Does The App Score?
The app helps users address a common problem faced by many – letting their relatives and near and dear ones know that they are safe in case of an accident or a terrorist attack. In fact, developer Sandra Hassan first thought of the app’s idea after hearing about a series of blasts in Syria and Lebanon. The app helps users let their friends and family know that they are safe through the click of a button. The app is connected through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter and at the click of a button; uses can let others know that they are alive. In fact, users can also know which users have not updated their status in an hour post the incident through the app’s internal network. This will help focus resources and energy on knowing who all are unaccounted for.

It should be remembered that post terrorist attacks and explosions, phone lines are often down and the app can then work to let other people know if someone is safe. With very little data being used by the app, the user doesn’t need to have a good internet connection for the message to be sent as well.

Till date, I am Alive app has been downloaded over 7,000 times in almost 25 countries, including countries like Pakistan and Egypt. No wonder, though Sandra wanted to app initially to be for the people of Lebanon, expansion plans had to be kicked in.

It’s not that I am Alive is the only such app out there. There is the “LAF Shield” for iOS and Android which was developed by the Lebanese Army. With an ever increasing amount of terrorist attacks, explosions and accidents globally, apps like these can help the user connect to relatives and tell them that they are okay.

Today, mHealth apps are taking the center stage and soon, monitoring bodies including heart rate would be a reality. Apps like these will help near friends and relatives know more about the user and in the future, the near and dear ones can know about the health of the individual concerned as well.

What Does It Mean For Developers Today?
Apple has already stated during WWDC 2014 that it is working with Mayo clinic to develop better mHealth apps that can monitor real time health metrics including heart rate.  An app like I am Alive can help others know if the individual is okay as well as transmit information like health data to others. If needed, the location of the individual can also be shared if the individual seems to be in some trouble. Developers can explore on a wide range of mHealth options no – after all, the possibilities of mHealth apps today are endless.

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