Every day we come across new mobile applications that entertain, inform or facilitate the user’s’ everyday life. iHELP can do more than that because the app can save lives. Its software creates a network for mutual assistance and brings together families, friends, first aid personnel, medics, firefighters and most of all – ordinary people who are able to give first-aid assistance or want to gain life-saving skills and get prepared to help people in need of emergency assistance.
The project iHELP Bulgaria is managed by Hristo Hristov, who learned about the application during a startup exhibition in the UK in 2013. After six months of negotiations with the author of the idea – a Slovenian entrepreneur, Christo grabs the opportunity to develop iHELP in our country. In the case of emergency, any person with the mobile app installed on his mobile phone can instantly alarm the 112 system (or 911 and 999 in other countries), and with just a click to alert family and friends, and people in the iHELP network. All users within a radius of 500 meters receive SOS alarm that someone close to them needs help. iHELP allows also alerting for another person who is in trouble. The program can guide you with brief instructions for life-saving actions until the arrival of the medical team. It can also track the location of the closest defibrillator.
The app does not replace the functions of the state emergency systems. It just aims to cover the critical few minutes that can preserve someone’s life, until the emergency signal is processed and the ambulance arrives. “Unfortunately, the state’s’ resources are not sufficient all the time and too often we hear about cases in which ambulances are delayed more than 20 minutes. A man without a pulse and breathing starts dying after the third minute, in another 7-8 or so – he is not alive. Our goal is to respond to a critical situation up to the third minute when a volunteer-savior can reach the person in need and try to keep or save his life until the arrival of the emergency team.”, Christov says.
Since 2013 Christo has managed to create a large network of volunteers and has trained more than 900 children to provide first aid. He has a university degree in engineering but his true calling is that of an entrepreneur. At just 29 he was listed in the Darik radio’s new “40 under 40 ” list. Christo works on projects that have a potential for a social impact – he is organizing teams of volunteers, and is coaching children. This is how he came up with the setup of iHELP in Bulgaria.
Gabrovo Municipality became the first in Bulgaria to implement the project and provided iHELP. The iHELP network is successfully developing in Germany, Slovenia and Croatia.