Tracking the route of an accident

I came across a blog post about how a runner who was using a location tracking tool was hit by a car and was fascinated by the track that had continued to be created after the crash.

The software tracked time per mile. Miles 1-4 were average riding speed. Mile 5 was the site of the accident and 20 minutes elapsed while emergency services were arriving. Miles 6-9 were fast car speed as the cyclist was transported to the hospital.

This is an example of continuous location tracking, so naturally it caught my attention. The blog post mostly goes on about map routes and times. If the person were using IceCondor, they would have a map of their entire day, though with less accuracy than the running-tracking program. In both cases, the result seems to be "so what?". That by itself wasn't compelling enough to make a product.

The interesting part that emerged was the sharing, or alerting, based on the user's position. This person had some helpful bystanders to alert a responsible party. It was a human, but manual process.

"What I didn't realize was that Runkeeper kept going in the background as I lay there, as a very kind bystander used my phone to call my wife and let her know what was happening, and then as I was put into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital."

Even more interesting was the comments:

"The data you can gather from this application is very interesting. Last sunday I started my training as a sailplane pilot, and I tracked my first flight. It's a shame altitude wasn't configured correctly in my iPhone but nonetheless, the visualization of the track in Google Maps is really appealing."

"I use CycleMeter but it sounds pretty much the same. I have it email updates to my wife every 5 miles. After reading this I think I'll change it to every 1 mile."

"Both my husband and I bike and run and we both have the elite program. In June of this year he suffered a heart attack. Thankfully he was not running at the time. But if he had been, I would have know exactly where he was because we can track each other on our computers. I often have to run alone due to our schedules, yet since he is in an office, I know that he is tracking me. RK IS NOT AN is a necessity. "

When cell phones started getting popular, it became a common reason to buy one simply to put in the glove compartment "for emergencies." Many people considered it a no-brainer safety precaution. I believe continuous location tracking will be given the same consideration and this blog post is a nice bit of encouragement.

As far as automatic notification for such an emergency, one solution is having geofences around hospitals in the area. Simply being at a hospital (for most people) is indicator enough to start alerting people so they can determine if there is a situation that needs attention.