How the Red Cross is Using Mobile Apps to Improve Public Health

2 weeks ago by iMedicalApps Team         By: Irfan Husain MS4, MPH candidate 

Red Cross Disaster Preparedness App

With the advancements in social media and a surge in the prevalence of smartphones, we are now seeing live Twitter and Facebook updates and emergency-related applications being used in disaster response efforts.

Here, we evaluate the Red Cross Natural Disaster App series’ design and utility for the public in natural disasters.

Introduction

Governmental agencies and NGOs are adapting and beginning to reach out to the public through mobile applications in order to provide direct, rapid, and life-saving alerts and updates.

The Red Cross was one of the first organizations to develop a series of comprehensive emergency apps that focused on all phases of a disaster – preparedness, response, and recovery. The Red Cross App Series covers a wide range of natural disasters including-Hurricane, Tornado, Earthquake, Wildfire, Shelter View, First Aid, and Team Red Cross. For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on the Hurricane and Shelter View apps. Both Hurricane and Shelter View apps are targeting potential and current disaster victims. The Tornado, Earthquake, and Wildfire apps follow a similar format to the Hurricane app.

Read our recent overview of how social media is being used in disaster response here

User Interface

When first using the Hurricane App you are prompted to allow use of current location and push notification in order to receive real-time alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From the main screen (under Prepare) you are able to access a menu for basic recommendations and a checklist on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane, in addition to planning preparations.

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Work-Related Injuries Can’t Happen Here…Can They?

Tdon't run with scissors signhis is from a Canadian perspective, but we think you’ll find the information pertinent to almost any work situation.

By Terry Bogyo 02/05/2014 15:35:00
One of the biggest barriers to improving health and safety is the belief that work-related injury, disease or death “can’t happen here”.  I’m not saying injuries are an inevitable part of work.  What I am saying is that believing work-related injuries are not possible actually makes it more likely they will occur.
A teacher commented to me that workplace health and safety really wasn’t an issue where he worked—a high school.  The only health and safety issues he could identify involved the occasional issue in one of the industrial education or foods classes.  “Schools are safe places for students and staff.  Work-related injuries can’t happen here.”
I agreed that schools are generally safe for students and teachers but hazards and risks of injury are present in every workplace in every sector—including education.   I listed Sandyhook,  Columbine,  Virginia Tech,  and École Polytechnique as high profile examples of a very real risk of  violence in the education sector that has lead to the injury and death of students and workers.   These tragedies tell us about very real risks—risks that have been identified and have led to most schools to perform a risk assessment and develop new procedures.
He conceded that his school now practiced procedures in the case of an intrusion but he put the risk of such an incident right up there with earthquakes and fires:  possible but not probable.   “These are rare events—terrible but rare.  Work-related injuries to teachers, teaching assistants, administrators and other staff in educational settings just don’t happen in day to day work…do they?”
That little bit of doubt provided an opening.  I agreed to check and sent along the following table [data fromhttp://worksafebc.com/publications/reports/statistics_reports/occupational_injuries/default.asp] :

Combine Wellness with Risk Management to Help Curb Work Comp Costs

By WorkersCompensation.com

Prevention Ave. road sign for employee wellness programsJefferson City, Mo (WorkersCompensation.com) – Employers are always looking for ways to reduce business costs while improving productivity. One way to accomplish this is by including a wellness program in your employee benefits package. This type of program can be as simple or elaborate as you make it and the results will be good for you and your employees.

Wellness benefits can create a healthier workforce and reduce your workers compensation liability. Employees who are aware and in tune with their personal wellness are not only are more productive, but also tend to recover from injuries at a faster rate.

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