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For Ambulances That Can Track You Down to 10 Inches, Come to West Africa

London’s ambulances struggled to find victims of the city’s 2017 terror attack. Had it been Ghana, emergency services might have had it easier.

London’s ambulances, sirens screeching, searched for civilians wounded in the 2017 London Bridge terror attack. But many of the injured hid away from the streets and were hard to find. Had it been Accra, Ghana’s capital, instead of the English capital, the ambulances likely would have had a much easier time. That’s because, while Ghana has a notoriously inexact postal address system, it also has a new fix for ensuring that emergency services get precision guidance during moments of crisis.

SnooCODE Red, a service developed by 32-year-old former Ghanaian banker Sesinam Dagadu, provides location codes on request, with a degree of accuracy within 25 cm (around 10 inches), allowing emergency services to reach a person without worrying about inaccurate or incomplete street signs or addresses. Users download the SnooCODE app and generate a six-digit code that identifies their current location exactly. In London, this could have helped medical professionals reach patients with the app wherever they were hiding. It’s only one of a growing number of out-of-the-box fixes turning West Africa — one of the world’s poorest regions — into an unlikely hotbed of innovation that’s transforming emergency medical care in the region and, slowly, beyond.

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Tags: #health, #medicaltech, #medicine, #westafrica
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