TechTool Thursday 050 GoodSam

TechTool review GoodSam by GoodSam on iOS

GoodSam is an app encouraging medics to help as first responders for incidents in their own community. It crowd-sources medics to provide local help until the ambulance can arrive. It was designed by Dr Mark Wilson, a HEMS doctor in London.

Website: Website - FacebookTwitter - iTunes

How does it work?

Healthcare professionals can register with the app as a responder. If someone has a cardiac arrest, collapse, or is involved in traffic accident, a bystander can put out an alert on the app. It uses geolocation to identify the place of the incident, and alerts nearby registered responders. They can provide first aid and emergency help until the ambulance arrives

Will it Work??

As Chris Cresswell mentions in his recent interview with Dr Mark Wilson, the Israeli’s have been doing this in a different form for several years. Hatzolah is a community response team that started in Israel and now runs in many cities around the world. It works on the same principles – volunteers can respond quickly if they are close to an incident. They try to help the patients before medical services get there. It is run completely by volunteers. Check out Eli Beer’s TED talk

It is a natural extension for this to include healthcare professionals and also to embrace the current technology we have available.

Design and Usability

  • You can’t really test the app until someone nearby has an accident. So rather than starting a violent argument with my neighbour, or feeding my 2 year old nuts, I’ll have to go on first glance for now.
  • Registering as a responder wasn’t too hard. I had to enter my AHPRA reg number and then they verified me within 24 hours.
  • There are two apps – a Responder app and an Alerter app.
  • With the Responder app you just login and it tracks your location. I think that’s all that happens until someone alerts you to an incident nearby.
  • For the Alerter app, people can have it on their phones and then when there is a problem they open the app and press the ‘call for help’ button.

User Interface

GoodSam 1

GoodSam 2

Room for Improvement

  • There is only one screen in the Alerter app which has a map, the user’s geolocation and two buttons. In the iPhone 5s the buttons are cut off at the bottom of the screen. It would look a lot nicer if it all fitted onto the one screen – and this should be easy to fix.
  • I’m not clear why there needs to be two apps, rather than just an Alerter app with the option of logging in as a responder.


  • FREE. It’s FOAM and as far as I know there are no plans to change this.


We all work in healthcare because we care about people and are willing to help. This app is another step towards improving patient health in the community and I think it’s a great project. I hope it does well.

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