IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 148



International SOS | From East to West
Technology Advances
Game Changers
Notable Technology Advances:
It has been a long journey from
telexes and notebooks to the range of
technology-based services we offer
today. But as Tim Daniel points out:
From the start, telephony has been at the heart
of our operations. Pascal’s first mobile phone has
already been mentioned! He was equally keen to
install satellite phones in our air ambulances so
everyone could stay in touch during those difficult
hours. In 2004 we went a stage further, enabling
clients to use iridium satellite phones to contact
their nearest Assistance Centre from anywhere on
the planet – a huge benefit for those working in
the oil and gas, mining, commercial shipping and
fishing industries. For those nearer to home, the
introduction of smartphones brought yet more
expectations from our clients. A first step was
to introduce TravelTracker Mobile.
Being able to check itineraries is one thing, but
companies often want to know the real-time
location of their employees, especially in a crisis.
In 2010 this led to another major product
development: The Membership App. At first this
was for the BlackBerry, and versions for iPhone
and Android devices followed in 2011. The App
was an electronic copy of the International SOS
membership card, providing a one-click dial to
the nearest Assistance Centre. Now called the
Assistance App, it offers access to current medical
and security updates for the current location.
Using the ‘Check In’ button immediately informs
the user’s company of the user’s exact location:
A major benefit in a dangerous situation.
As Gregoire Pinton explains, “Being able to
download our App to a smart phone is of great
value to our clients. At the push of a button they
can access any Assistance Centre – it adds a whole
new level of safety for our members.”
The App has won a number of awards including the
prestigious EMMA Award for the Most Innovative Use
of Technology in 2011. EMMA awards are presented by
the Forum for Expatriate Management, in recognition
of “the industry leaders, business successes and rising
stars in the global mobility industry.”
As Philippe Arnaud concludes: “Tim very
successfully created the information and tracking
services, with TravelTracker as the flagship, and this
journey has since been expanded with the ‘Going
Digital’ strategic initiative to enhance all our
products with the latest innovative technologies.”
Award Win
International SOS won the “Most
Innovative Use of Technology in
Global Mobility” award at the 2014
EMMAs (Expatriate Management &
Mobility Awards) for our TravelTracker
solution, its integration with
TravelReady Plus, and its seamless
integration with our Assistance
Centre platform.
“Our aim is not to have the latest
gizmo but to have industrial strength
applications that will work in the
difficult locations and situations in
which our members find themselves.
Technology is part of a broad client
solution rather than an end in itself.
It is the combination of technology
plus knowledge plus action that is
our true strength.”
We are making mobile phones a
source of useful information too.
An example of this, pioneered by
Dr Myles Druckman, is adding a QR
Code to our medical kits so users can
call up detailed usage instructions
and advice on their iPhones.
TravelReady was introduced in
2004, a web-based tool linked to
TravelTracker that encourages
people to prepare for higher risk
destinations using reminders and
checklists specific to the country of
destination. Inbuilt follow ups help
ensure compliance.
Malaria Online Learning was
introduced in 2007.
‘Spot The Risk’ is an online tool
for improving travel safety and
awareness, introduced in 2012.
Website on Air Pollution was
introduced in 2014.
Regular webinars to provide medical
and security advice to clients.
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