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MDA Welcomes Apple’s Announcement That Its Operating System Will Soon Geolocate 911 Calls

Posted By : Erik Levis June 18, 2018

MDA welcomes today’s announcement by Apple that its iOS 12 operating system will support geolocation services for 911 calls in the United States, providing faster and more accurate information to help reduce emergency response times.

Starting later this year, iPhone users who download the new iOS will be able to make 911 calls that automatically and securely share their location data with first responders, significantly cutting the amount of time it takes medical professionals to reach patients. Currently, 80% of 911 calls in the U.S. are made from mobile devices, but outdated infrastructure makes it difficult for 911 centers to quickly and accurately identify a mobile user’s location.

“This is a great development for our friends in America who will see countless lives saved by this blending of technology and public safety,” said MDA Director-General Eli Bin. “MDA has been leveraging geolocation capacity in Israel for many years and — based on the efficiency and precision we’ve seen it provide — have advocated for its integration in EMS work around the world.”

In Israel, MDA has been a pioneer in “next generation EMS,” including integrating geolocation technology. For example, its “My MDA” app, which works off both iOS and Android platforms, gives dispatchers and first responders the exact location of an emergency and allows victims and anxious bystanders to track vehicles en route to their location. It also lets users preload crucial medical information about family members, such as pre-existing conditions and prescribed medications.

For people in an emergency who don’t have the My MDA app, MDA can send a text to the user which, upon acceptance, identifies their location — regardless of the operating platform in use.

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