Saturday, January 7, 2012

Health Train and Winter

Summary Box: Phone app aims to help winter drivers

Mobile apps are the big items this year, not only in health care, but in a multiplicity of other niches.

When a powerful blizzard ripped through North Dakota last winter, hundreds of drivers were stranded as white-out conditions shuttered interstates statewide.Even in large metropolitan areas sudden and large snow storms can paralyze drivers with other cars close by. The recent Chicago Lake Shore drive emphasizes the fact that this does not occur in only North Dakota.


That convinced two local software developers to create the Winter Survival Kit app.

North Dakota State University's Bob Bertsch and Jake Joraanstad came up with the free program for iPhones and Android smartphones to help motorists prepare for winter driving and when things go badly.

One app available through the iTunes app store is a crossover, linking mobile apps for driving and prevention of possible frostbite and even death if isolated by blizzard conditions and being stranded in your car.

The application “Winter Survival Kit” can be downloaded for FREE at the iTunes app store. It will function on the iPhone, iPad  and also on  Android Phones


This app will help you find your current location, call 911, notify your friends and family, calculate how long you can run your engine to keep warm and stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Version 1.3 update December 2011, and all reviews give it a 4-5 star rating.  

The application provides instructions for preparations for cold weather survival and what to do if stuck in your car.

It also functions as an emergency 911 alert and will supply geolocation information  to emergency dispatchers.

Other information it can calculate is time until your fuel runs out, and to remind you to check your exhaust every 30 minutes to prevent asphyxiation from carbon monoxide.


The application was developed by Myriad Devices  and financial support from a grant from  USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture   Smith-Lever Special Needs grants.

HealthTrain Express assesses this device as a mandatory  one for anyone who drives in a cold weather climate. It’s usefulness may be restricted in areas that do not yet have cell phone availability. If you are on one of the U.S.National Defense Highways (Interstate Highway System) it’s a fairly safe bet you will have cell coverage.

The only thing it does not seem to do is make hot coffee….perhaps in version 2.0

Remember also that if cell phone strength is week text messaging may still function….use Twitter, SMS or IM.

Post a Comment