Tech Talk

Observations from Jamie DeLoma, journalist and computer nerd

Smart phone transforms man into citizen medic


Much has been written recently about how technology is creating a Fifth Estate in America. The media has long been regarded as the Fourth Estate, or watchers of government.

Citizen and online journalists, who fall in the new category, are utilizing blogs, smart phones and server space to disseminate news and information quickly around the world.

However, smart phones are not only helping people around the world try their hand at journalism.  They are also saving lives.

According to an NBC News report, Dan Woolley survived under tons of wreckage in the lobby of his hotel in Haiti, in large part thanks to his iPhone.

Woolley had taken refuge in an elevator shaft, where he used an iPhone first-aid app to treat a compound fracture of his leg and a cut on his head. He had already used his digital SLR camera’s focusing light to illuminate his surroundings, and taken pictures of the wreckage to help find a safe place to wait to be rescued — or to die.

The app taught him how to fashion a bandage and touniquet for his leg and to stop the bleeding from a head injury, NBC News reported. It also advised him not to allow him to drift into deep sleep if he thought he might be going into shock. He told the peacock network that he utilized his phone’s alarm clock to go off every 20 minutes.

Eventually French rescuers discovered Woolley and brought him to safety.

Jamie DeLoma