It’s been a good few months for Reporty, maker of a free app enabling smartphone users in 160 countries to communicate with emergency dispatchers even without an Internet connection.
In June, Reporty cofounder Lital Leshem accepted first prize in the TLV Startup Challenge and in October the company announced a $5.15 million international Series A funding round led by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
In the growing number of areas fully integrated with Reporty (across Israel, and soon in three European cities and several Asian cities), real-time video and audio reporting from the scene of the call is supported by an indoor positioning system that can locate the caller within less than a meter’s accuracy.
Launched in March in Tel Aviv, Reporty already employs 22 people and CEO Amir Elichai is heading to New York to open a branch office on November 1.
Elichai tells ISRAEL21c that the idea came to him three and a half years ago when he was robbed at a beach in Tel Aviv.
“I called the police, and the dispatcher asked me where I was, what’s my name, what am I seeing – all kinds of questions. Since I was on the beach, it was hard to explain exactly where I was. And I wondered why in the 21st century you have to supply so much information to the dispatcher.”
Given his background – Elichai is a former officer in an elite IDF unit and had nine years of operational experience in military and security fields, in addition to a law degree – he saw a unique opportunity to automate the process.
Backed by four patents, the startup has a VIP board of directors, investors and advisers including Barak, former US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former commander of the IDF 8200 cyber intelligence unit Pinchas Buchris, and robotics expert Prof. Gal A. Kaminka from Bar-Ilan University.
“Step by step we are connecting with different governments,” says Elichai, who expects to introduce Reporty features in a few large US cities followed by Canadian and Latin American cities.
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Meanwhile, Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical response service, has released a sophisticated mobile app that significantly streamlines the process of locating and reaching Israelis in distress.
Available in the Google and Apple app stores in Israel only at present, My MDA lets users press a button to contact EMTs and paramedics operating MDA dispatch centers. Information such as the caller’s location and medical record is securely transmitted and displayed to the dispatcher.
As a result, dispatch centers can direct medical teams to the patient faster. In the field, paramedics and EMTs can use the app to transmit data to the doctor who will be treating the patient upon arrival at the hospital.
“At MDA we already have one of the most technological EMS dispatch centers in the world,” said Ido Rosenblat, Chief Information Officer at Magen David Adom. “With the My MDA app, we can say that we’ve revolutionized procedures even further. With the app’s ability to provide valuable information such as the caller’s medical record and current location, as well as broadcast live video footage from the scene to the dispatch center, we’re now able to dramatically cut call times, reach people faster, and thus save more lives.”
Versions of My MDA in English, Russian, Arabic, French and Amharic enable Israeli minorities to access MDA services in their mother tongue, through speech or text that is then translated into Hebrew. A text interface also is available for people with speaking or hearing impairments.