WebRTC.ventures Apple Watch app wins TADHack award

When you are having a heart attack, time is of the essence. You need to get to the hospital immediately in order to save your life. One of the biggest problems is that your chances of survival fall dramatically if you take more than an hour to arrive at the hospital. You might be delayed because you don’t realize you’re having a serious heart attack, or you might be delayed while getting someone to help take you to the hospital. Whatever the cause, most patients take 2-4 hours to reach the hospital, and that’s why over 400,000 people in the US alone die every year from heart attacks.

TADHack entry for emergency communications

I’m in Chicago this week with my colleague Néstor Bermúdez in order to participate in the TADHack here being held around real time and emergency communications. We presented today on this application that Néstor built for the Apple Watch, and we are thrilled to report we won a sponsor prize from Telestax. Telestax provides Restcomm, which we used to make a telephone call to from the iOS app and provide text-to-speech in order to tell the call recipient who is having a heart attack and where to find them.

See a demo of our award winning application

The following video shows a demo of the application, and was a back up just in case our live demo didn’t work during the hackathon presentations. Fortunately our live demo worked well!

Tech Stack for our Apple Watch app

The architecture of the application uses several toolsets from the sponsors of the hackathon. This overview shows how our iOS app will send voice, SMS, and even Slack messages to your loved ones in order to let them know automatically that you are having a heart attack, and how to find you. The app sends these messages automatically when it detects dangerous patterns in your heartbeat, so even if you immediately go unconscious it will notify your loved ones.

Architecture of the WebRTC.ventures Apple Watch app that uses Matrix, Tropo, and Telestax to provide emergency communications to a loved one during a heart attack

The flow of the application

  • The Apple Watch monitors your heartbeat and uses an algorithm to see when dangerous patterns (not just heart rate) are occurring
  • When a problem is detected, your Apple Watch will let you know and ask if you want to notify a loved one about the problem. If you don’t respond, it will automatically notify your family member.
  • The Apple Watch app has your iPhone start to relay messages. Néstor used Matrix.org as the messaging backbone.
  • Matrix will fire an event that a simple NodeJS application Néstor wrote can receive. The NodeJS code can then decide to relay that to SMS or voice.
  • First we send an SMS message using Tropo that contains the GPS coordinates of where you are. When your loved ones receive those coordinates, they can click on a link to bring up a Google Map with your location.
  • Next we used Telestax and their Restcomm API to create a voice file from text containing your name, a message that you are having a heart attack, and the GPS coordinates.
  • Using Telestax, we then call your loved one’s phone and play the voice alert to them.
  • Finally, to show off some of the cool hooks that Matrix provides, we send a message to a slack chat stating that you are having a heart attack, and again providing coordinates to anyone in that slack chat.

Our TADHack Hackathon Presentation

TADHack was a great event

The hackathon was a lot of fun and we enjoyed meeting peers in the real time communications field, networking with the excellent sponsors, and it was a great honor to win an award as well. As part of our award, we’ll have a chance at the Real Time Communications Conference to present our application again to a wider audience.

Nestor Bermudez and Arin Sime from WebRTC.ventures pose with John Senay from Telestax after winning a sponsor award from Telestax at the TADHack Chicago in October 2015
Néstor Bermúdez (left) and Arin Sime (right) from WebRTC.ventures pose with John Senay (center) from Telestax after winning a sponsor award from Telestax at the TADHack Chicago in October 2015

Building custom Telemedicine Apps

Our team at WebRTC.ventures can build your custom designed telemedicine applicationjust contact us!

We have deep expertise in many communication technologies, such as WebRTC for video communications, web and mobile application design and development, as well as other real-time communication applications such as this Apple Watch application. We would love to help you save lives and expand medical care!

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