Israeli startup Reporty Homeland Security today launched its mobile app to the general public in collaboration with Magen David Adom (Israel's medical emergency service), Israel's security services, and several municipalities - the world's first mobile video emergency app. At the simple press of a button, any person in Israel can report an accident or hazard in real time via a location-based video broadcast, by making a regular phone call. Reports can also be made from areas with poor reception, thanks to groundbreaking technology developed by the company.
The company was founded in 2004 by CEO Amir Elichai, and former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is an investor, serves as Chairman.
Barak said, "At a time when the security situation is challenging, in which terrorism and violence affect every country in the world - along with the growing need of people to be constantly connected - there is a place for a comprehensive solution that allows people to feel safe and connected."
He added, "Reporty’s platform brings good news: It allows organizations and municipalities to organize quickly and respond to terrorist incidents in real time, minimizing the waste of time and resources. In routine times, it also allows people to communicate simply and easily with municipalities, an area lacking a uniform and effective standard. Reporty also brings new ways for people to call family and friends, and I believe that, over time, the company will develop additional interesting uses, including: live broadcasts from the field by correspondents who need to file as soon as possible, a communications tool for dispersed global organizations active in high-risk areas, and anywhere reliable communications in critical moments is needed.”
From the launch phase, users can send live video broadcasts from anywhere in Israel to a Magen David Adom national call center and to municipal call centers in Ra’anana, Modiin (pilot), Hod Hashron, Ashdod and more. TCalls to additional emergency call centers, including the Israel Police and Fire and Rescue Authority, will be audio-based in the initial phase, along with immediate location tracking. The company is in contact with the authorities on full installation.
Each year, emergency services and municipalities in Israel and around the world receive hundreds of millions of calls. The average duration of an emergency call is 2.5-3 minutes, during which the dispatcher tries to quickly understand the situation, the location of the incident, assess the credibility of the report and the caller, and decide how to respond and which available resources should be put to use. In addition, authorities estimate that 20-30% of the calls are idle ones. For example, following the kidnapping of the three youths in June 2014, the Israel Police said that more than 20% of the ten million calls it receives each year are nuisance calls. Magen David Adom says that around 23% of the nine million calls it receives each year are idle ones. Another critical issue is the speed in which the caller's location is identified. In the US alone, approximately 10,000 people die every year because of the inability of emergency and rescue services to locate their whereabouts in emergency incidents.
Reporty is seeking to change and improve the reporting and receiving process, saving municipalities costs, and, most importantly - saving lives. The company is doing this by means of a real-time video broadcasting system, which combines an innovative algorithm to locate the source of the call, even inside closed buildings. At the press of a button, the app sends two-way video and audio signals to the relevant call center, providing precise data about the location of the caller and the credibility of the report. For example, if a person calls Magen David Adom about a medical emergency, the dispatcher can see the incident and even advise the caller on what to do. It is also possible to have a written chat with the dispatcher if the caller is unable to speak for any reason.
The app also allows communication with a circle of relatives (ReporTeam), such as family members and friends, preset by the user, to be called automatically in an emergency or in routine times. The call will be made possible through various social media features, including a special semiautomatic chat, and to keep in contact for predetermined periods of time. Thus, for example, children will be able to report their location or an emergency to their parents, and the elderly will be able to call their relatives, etc.
The application can be easily integrated with a Smart City system, and can function as such in a city that lacks such an infrastructure. The company is also seeking to install the system at strategic institutions and critical infrastructures, such as airports, government corporations, and private companies, etc.
Elichai said, “The issue of command and control and proper incident management in the urban space is an integral part of our quality of life in the 21st century. Reporty offers a response to a growing real and practical need in Israel and worldwide. The company is developing a range of technologies that will help decision-makers quickly understand a situation and decide whether and how to respond. Reporty is also investing heavily to make the user interface accessible, convenient, and effective for the general public through various social features, most of which are related to personal safety, with an emphasis on privacy and improved standard of living.” Amir adds that the system offers added value to large companies, and that the company has lately received numerous inquiries from multinationals seeking to use the system to meet various needs."
Magen David Adom director Eli Bean said, “The app will allow callers to obtain immediate service at the push of a button, even via text messages, and give our dispatchers critical information about the location of an incident and even enable them to receive video broadcasts from the scene. I have no doubt that this collaboration, which joins a long line of technologies, will help Magen David Adom teams to shorten response times to every call, thereby saving as many lives as possible.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 16, 2016
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