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Just click for rescue

New iLertU app acts as a concierge, emergency service and insurance agent

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If you are a foreign tourist, a car driver or a patient, rest assured your life has now reached a new level of comfort and convenience. The mobile application iLertU allows you to deal with any incident with just a tap on your smartphone. 

For tourists, iLertU acts as a mobile concierge. You just scan a barcode and install the app on any platform _ iOS, Android or BlackBerry. Once you connect with hotels that have installed the iLertU system, the hotel will pick you up from the airport without the fuss of looking for a driver holding a sign bearing your name at the arrival hall.

The app also facilitates check-in, bypassing the hassle of filling in forms at the reception desk. In addition, when tourists go sightseeing or shopping, the app connects them with the hotel in case they need help communicating with the locals.

The practicality of iLertU is down to its three key functions: iCall, iLert and Where're U. Users can sign-in with a new iLertU account or with their Facebook account, said Kittinan Anuphan, CEO of Arunsawad Dot Com, the app's developer.

The iCall function lets users instantly call emergency numbers such as 1111 Flood Relief Operation Centre, 1644 FM91MHz and 1197 Thai Traffic Police.

The iLert mode allows users to alert organisations such as hospitals and insurance agencies. In order to check-in, users need the Where're U app and they can choose to share with friends via Facebook or Twitter, and they can also select who they want to share the information with.

The iLertU app is able to run on a smart TV, meaning users can use the app on a television set at home in the same way as they do on a smartphone. Where're U enables family members to monitor other members who are away from home.

Arunsawad Dot Com, in collaboration with the Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa), offers iLertU as part of a "Freemium" programme for hotels. This free app is currently available at more than 100 hotels in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Kanchanaburi and Pattaya, and hotels can use the app until March 31. The service will then charge the hotel 10 baht per one alert, without any access or monthly fee.

Apart from the hospitality industry, iLertU has also been used by insurance companies. The app can help shorten lengthy procedures _ from the time the accident occurred to completing the claim process _ to around 20 minutes. Once an accident occurs, drivers just click the app and the "Anywhere to claim" system will assign the nearest surveyor to deal with the matter within eight minutes. Then the entire claim process will be done within five minutes.

"In case there's no company surveyor within the vicinity of the accident, the system will automatically calculate the time and alert outsourced surveyors. Anywhere to claim enables the company to guarantee customers of a surveyor's arrival within 15-20 minutes," Kittinan said.

In Thailand, 11 insurance companies use the Anywhere to claim solution, covering almost 50% of all insurance policies. Users include LMG Insurance, Mittare Insurance, Bangkok Insurance and Muang Thai Insurance.

The final iLertU app, "Anywhere to ER", is connected with hospitals. Users can ask the hospital for help by clicking iLertU and the system will send the patient's medical records and location to the ambulance. In addition, the doctor can see the patient's records on a tablet during the time the patient is in the ambulance.

Patients of Bangkok Hospital Group can use iLertU in case of an emergency. Arunsawad offers the app free of charge to more than 10 government hospitals, and it is available for free to government agencies, NGOs and associations.

"We have also developed 'Phuket Oon-jai', an iLertU app for Phuket province, which allows the public to contact the police. Anyone in Phuket can download and use the app which will directly alert the police," Kittinan said.

The iLertU app has been downloaded by 20,000 users. Last year, Arunsawad worked with DC Consulting and FM91 to train over 120 people to be volunteers for iLertU. Volunteers have coordinated via the app to FM91 and last year saved at least two people, one who was involved in a car accident and another who tried to commit suicide.

iLertU was ranked the top mobile SOS app. It will soon become available in Singapore, and Arunsawad is now in talks with potential partners in Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia. The app will charge US$1 (30 baht) per alert as it has to share the revenue.

Last year, iLertU won the gold and merit prizes at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards in the categories of Business and e-Inclusion & Community.

"The prize will be used to promote the app which will help ensure Thai people have better safety," Kittinan said.

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