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Red Cross Hurricane app in top three downloads

Digital health apps prove to be highly effective and widely used

Red Cross hurricane mobile app

The American Red Cross's Hurricane App had 400,000 downloads during the week Hurricane Sandy swept the East Coast of the US.

TechCrunch has reported that the Hurricane app ranked in the top three downloads in the Apple App Store (along with YouTube and Flashlight by iHandy) at one stage during the hurricane. 

The number of daily Red Cross Hurricane app downloads reached around 66,000 between October 25 and 30. On October 28 itself – the day before Hurricane Sandy hit New York City – the Red Cross had 144,000 downloads across its various apps. 

Initially launched on August 1, and combining a storm tracker with a first aid database and a notification system for telling friends and family that you are safe, the free Hurricane app is the second in a series from the Red Cross. 

The Red Cross's First Aid app was launched last Christmas and by the first week in September it had seen over 1 million downloads, proving particularly popular in the UK and US. 

Jo Mulligan, head of first aid education at the British Red Cross, said: What the download numbers show is that, as a society, we are increasingly turning to technology and the simplicity it offers.” 

Another recently launched mobile tool also came into its own during the hurricane. MDConnectME, allows doctors to update a patient's family and/or friends by text or email about the their condition and treatment. 

Piloted in the autumn of 2011, but having a full launch on October 12 this year, MDConnectME updates are only operable on an outgoing basis, so doctors and other medical staff weren't sidetracked by incoming requests for information. 

Both apps offered a way to access vital information when many areas were hit by lengthy periods of power loss.

8th November 2012

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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