Well, there are actually two different apps. GoodSAM Alerter is available to everyone, and it's through this you can broadcast a call for help. During the app registration process, you can also add medical details you think could be important for the first person on the scene, should you be the one in trouble. The app uses GPS and Google Maps to pinpoint your location, then notifies the nearest person who might be able to provide aid, before hailing others if they're unavailable. Once you've made a request for immediate support, the app then asks if you want to call the emergency services, assuming you haven't already.
GoodSAM Responder is the app for those who can actually do the helping. As you'd expect, the registration process is much stricter -- you need to prove you have the right qualifications and training to give emergency care. If you fit the bill, you'll be the one receiving notifications of people in need through the Responder app. Confirm you're able to help, and the app will direct you to the scene, as well as set up a messaging channel with the smartphone that sent the alert. Responders also have access to a crowd-sourced map of defibrillator locations if they need to find one quickly. GoodSAM isn't the first app of its kind, but it could be the first to have a global impact. We're told the app is currently most useful in London due to a high number of registered responders, but it's hoped with ongoing awareness campaigns the app will become a valuable tool worldwide.
[Image credit: David Holt London/Flickr]