Trek Medics International is currently seeking last-minute funding for Beacon, a technology that provides SMS-based emergency dispatching for communities in developing countries where 9-1-1 will never be affordable. The project team recently finished their first stage of field-testing outside the U.S., and is seeking "crowdfunding" via the website IndieGoGo to expand testing and optimize the software's performance so that it can meet the highest quality standards.
Jason Friesen, MPH, EMT-P, note that "Beacon isn't so much a mobile 'app' as it is a public utility, so robust testing is extremely important. For nearly three years, Beacon has been developed by a growing group of committed volunteers who've spent thousands of their own hours and dollars to keep this going. We're at the point where we now need to leave the proverbial garage and get out into the field permanently, but we can't do it without additional support."
A functioning prototype, made possible through generous support from top-level developers at Vision Point Systems, guarantees that all donations will go directly to field-testing and software optimization. With $75,000 Trek Medics will be able to conduct extensive testing and development in three locations by January 2014. Every additional $25,000 will help to expand to a new location.
"By supporting us," Friesen notes, "you will be playing a key role in something very meaningful, helping less-privileged communities build solutions to better manage the chaos during those most dreaded moments: something as simple as dialing 9-1-1." To support Beacon, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/beacon-911-where-there-is-none.