Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

60,000 Israelis Download Smartphone SOS App

App created by NowForce to help notify and prevent future emergency situations, abductions

By: J.S. Côté

Published: July 2nd, 2014 in Business » Israel

60,000 Israelis Download Smartphone SOS App

An app designed to assist in the event of an abduction or other emergencies has been downloaded by some 60,000 Israelis since its release just a few weeks ago, reports the JTA.

The free United Hatzalah SOS app, developed by Israeli start-up NowForce, requires only a swipe of the finger to allow subscribers to inform emergency services that they require assistance as well as their exact location courtesy of GPS technology. The system also contacts any family and friends that are programmed into the system during registration.

The app addresses the problems that arise from the lengthy legal processes required to obtain permission to track a cell phone signal once placing an emergency call to police in the event of a kidnapping, therefore prolonging emergency response times and the chance of rescue.

NowForce’s app was implemented following a distress call police received from one of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers minutes after being taken, with security forces unable to pinpoint their exact location. Believing it to be a prank, emergency services waited nearly seven hours before finally responding to the teens’ call for help.

Israeli Police officers have since been reprimanded for their actions.

Following the tragic discovery of the three teens’ bodies on Monday, Israeli media has reported that the boys were shot by their abductors in a panic once realizing that a call to police had been placed.

The new NowForce app allows for a discrete method of calling for help, say its creators.

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