Students can use the Guardly app to alert security to campus emergencies. The app will automatically transmit details like their location, identification and profile information (such as any allergies, medical conditions etc.) making it faster and more efficient for security personnel to respond accordingly. During an incident, dispatchers can also speak with a caller by phone or engage in a conversation by secure instant messaging.
Guardly is a brilliant, innovative application of social media and new technology to a societal need. Not only does it allow for services to get to where they're required and fast - it brings the whole conversation to the intended user in a way that is accessible and intuitive for them. This is the next iteration of the whole "get your health card like a pizza" theme redesigning social services to mesh with how people behave rather than trying to train them to behave in a way that works for services.
That's big-picture; on a more immediate level, there's a ready-made opportunity that would allow Guardly to test out the broader application of their product in a related field (security and safety), helping to address a major social issue at the same time. That field is the interaction between our police, mental health service providers and persons suffering from mental illness themselves.
Officer Zawerbry said that having one online portal that aggregates what mental health services are available in town by type and location would be incredibly useful. If that portal could include tips on recognizing mental illness symptoms and suggested responses for de-escalation responses, that would also be helpful. For it to be of real-time use, this portal would have to be accessible by mobile phone and intuitive to use. You can't be fumbling over functions when there's someone trying to harm themselves or someone else in front of you.
An App like Guardly could be tweaked to help fill this gap. Would such a service help keep people out of hospitals, the justice system and jail cells, reducing service cost? If so, would that be worth funding? On the other side of the equation, how much could be saved in terms of unnecessary service use/preserving human dignity/maintaining safety and security?
Ontario is looking for innovative ways to stimulate the economy; it's looking to improve service delivery and provide additional support for their front-line workers - they're also looking to improve quality of life outcomes in the province.
Guardly might just have an App for that.
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