Apps That Connect, Apps That Help

Posted January 23rd, 2015 at 3:02 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

There is a mobile app for everything these days from chatting to gaming, from learning to health and fitness. More recent apps glean users’ tastes to match them with others like them or parse their language to connect them with people they might be looking for. And then there are apps for emergencies that connect people in need of help.

Here are a few apps that connect people in a variety of ways:


A screenshot from the GoRescue app, courtesy Community Plates.

A screenshot from the GoRescue app, courtesy Community Plates.

Community Plates’ GoRescue! is a web-based mobile app that drives the non-profit’s efforts to end food insecurity in the United States. The app allows volunteers to coordinate with food-service retailers and organizations to divert excess food they typically might throw away to soup kitchens and food pantries.

Google Helpouts

Currently on trial, the Google Helpouts project is intended to help users searching for certain symptoms to connect quickly with a medical professional for more information. Some users might see a link that lets them talk to a doctor right there and then, but Google is still exploring on-demand care.

A Google spokesperson emailed this statement to TECHtonics on Helpouts:

“When you’re searching for basic health information — from conditions like insomnia or food poisoning — our goal is provide you with the most helpful information available. We’re trying this new feature to see if it’s useful to people.”


JobMatch is a mobile app from SoukTel, a firm that provides global mobile solutions. The

A screenshot from the JobMatch mobile app. (Souktel)

A screenshot from the JobMatch mobile app. (Souktel)

app helps connect employers with job-seekers. In the Middle East, JobMatch uses SMS messaging to connect young people in Gaza and the West Bank with potential employers – a time-saver given the multitude of checkpoints and traffic delays facing people in that region.

A screenshot from the American Red Cross Team Red Cross app. (American Red Cross)

A screenshot from the American Red Cross Team Red Cross app. (American Red Cross)

Team Red Cross

The American Red Cross offers several mobile apps tailored to help people in disaster situations with blood donations and voluntary work.

The Team Red Cross app lets people get involved in local disaster relief efforts. Interested volunteers can use their cellphones to sign up and get training and orientation in order to receive notifications when a disaster occurs and volunteer missions emerge in their local areas.

Dominick Tolli, vice president of product development for American Red Cross, says people often want to help after a disaster strikes, but don’t know how.

Our Team Red Cross App gives people an easy way to find out how they can help and support their neighbors and their communities Dominick Tolli

The PulsePoint Respond app icon, courtesy PulsePoint.

The PulsePoint Respond app icon, courtesy PulsePoint.

PulsePoint Respond

PulsePoint Respond is a mobile app that alerts CPR-trained volunteers to an emergency that someone nearby is having sudden cardiac arrest and may require CPR.

The app is integrated with local public safety communications centers where dispatchers that send fire and EMS personnel to emergency sites simultaneously alert PulsePoint Respond so that a trained volunteer within a quarter-mile area can give CPR.

The app is free for individuals, but offers varying subscription rates to municipalities.

A father, whose son was saved with the help of PulsePoint, offered the following in gratitude:

 Your app gave my one-month-old son another fighting chance at life a couple days back. The responder was a part time EMT who was a couple blocks away at his second job when Nolan stopped breathing. He dropped everything and drove up a wrong way street to perform CPR on my son. Your app gives me faith in humanity by exposing the heros amongst us who don’t hesitate to commit great selfless acts. Thank you PulsePoint — Michael Garrison

A screenshot from the wēgo concerts mobile app. (Laura Austin)

A screenshot from the wēgo concerts mobile app. (Laura Austin)

Wēgo Concerts

In the frenzy of today’s high-tech world, finding new friends or connecting with old ones might be a bit more challenging. Wēgo concerts, a new mobile iOS app, offers a novel way to accomplish this.

The app looks at music downloaded by users, then alerts them when their favorite artists come to town and looks up friends in the user’s contacts who might have similar tastes in music and might be interested in attending the same concerts or starting a music hangout or chat group.


Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *