SMS has been available for decades, but it seems that only recently have developers begun realizing the true potential and global implications of the technology and just how fully it is becoming integrated into the lives of users. With more people than ever operating personal cell phones, mass text messaging has become a no-brainer solution for many of the public's most concerning safety issues.
Here are five ways that SMS technology is being used to promote the health and wellbeing of individuals:
- Speed Limits: Buenos Aires Herald announced on Monday the unveiling of an automotive assistance software created by LoJack that monitors the speed of a user's vehicle and sends an SMS alert when the vehicle exceeds a speed limit defined by the user. This application may increase driver awareness and also help anxious parents ensure the safe driving practices of their children.
- Banking: Banks in Saudi Arabia are using SMS texts to alert citizens when a withdrawal or significant transaction is made on a client's debit or credit card, allowing individuals to monitor their spending and guard against credit or debit card theft.
- Health: The Scottish government has recently implemented a program that encourages women to utilize a simple shortcode to locate their nearest breast cancer screening center. Individuals can also opt-in to receive texts about how to quit smoking or simply send in a text asking for more information about a health-related question.
- Women's Safety: New applications such as Kitestring allow women to walk home at night with a little less apprehension. Users tell the app when they expect to arrive at their destination. If the user does not confirm arrival by the preset time, the system automatically sends out a series of SMS texts to the user's emergency contacts, regardless of whether the individual's phone dies or is damaged or lost.
- Weather Alerts: Residents are encouraged to sign up for local emergency weather alerts. Individuals who live near dams or other places that present unique climate or weather-related challenges are especially encouraged to do so.