Jennifer Farrell, a Fulbright alumna, has developed a new mobile phone app and nonprofit social enterprise, CriticaLink, to build and mobilize a network of first responders for medical emergencies in Bangladesh. This project was inspired by her Fulbright U.S. Student fellowship, in which she provided first aid training to citizens of the country. The organization trains volunteer first responders in life-saving emergency medical skills and uses location-based mobile technology to notify and dispatch the closest volunteers to the scene of an accident to provide help to injured or ill individuals.
As noted when CriticaLink was recognized as one of the best new mobile apps in the world at the 2015 World Summit Awards, “In the absence of a formal Emergency Medical System in developing countries, the majority of accident victims with potentially survivable injuries die before they reach a hospital. CriticaLink uses an innovative dispatch system and location-based mobile technology to save these lives by providing roadside accident victims with emergency medical care through a network of volunteer first responders.”
Though the app is currently only available in Bangladesh, Jennifer is working closely with partners in neighboring countries to implement this low-cost, high impact system across the region.
In a recent interview, Jennifer noted “The skeleton of this whole system can be adapted not just to handle emergency services, but to help sexual assault cases in India or obstetric complications in rural areas. My goal is to see CriticaLink functioning and working in Dhaka, but with the ability to go anywhere. There is something there that tomorrow you could take to Ghana, to Nairobi, to South America. There’s room for technology and innovation in health, even in places with limited resources.”