Pupils’ Life-saving App in National Finals

August 7, 2014

Schoolchildren inspired by personal experience with emergencies, have combined coding expertise, kindness and creativity to design an app which could save lives.

The altruistic team of youngsters united to build cudl – a fully enabled SOS application, capable of storing emergency contacts and messaging them when the user wants to call for help.ys

At the click of a button, cudl can send out your medical information and location to emergency services, friends and family to let them know you are in danger, whether you’re an epilepsy sufferer about to have a fit, a victim of mugging or you’re alone and lost on a dark night.

It is the brainchild of Monmouth School pupils Ben, 17, Harri, 17, and James, 15, and Melody, 10.

The group assembled at Monmouth School in South Wales as part of Young Rewired State’s (YRS) Festival of Code last week, during which two teams from the area worked on unique new apps to take to the national finals held at Plymouth University over the weekend.

Ben said: “Harri and I mixed our ideas together to design an emergency app.

“I know someone who has epilepsy, and I thought if they were about to have a fit, it would be so handy if they could contact the emergency services and their parents at the click of a button.

“I’d been thinking about it for a while.

“It would be really simple to use in an emergency and less of a panic.

“It wouldn’t just be for people with epilepsy – it would be for anyone with a medical problem.

“The app would have their addresses, phone numbers and medication stored and one button would text all of that out to emergency services and their parents at the same time.

“We’re working on the GPS side of it too, so the emergency services can tell where the user is.

“It would also show the user where the nearest hospital or doctor was.

“You would expect something like this to be out there already, it could make such a big difference in any emergency situation.”

Cudl could also help vulnerable people to feel more secure.

Women walking home at night or teenagers in difficulty, for example, would be able to use it as a ‘panic button’.

YRS is an independent global network of young people aged 18 and under who have taught themselves to code.

The annual contest teams up like-minded peers and gives them the chance to create websites, apps and other solutions to real world challenges using freely available data.

After beating around 160 teams from all over the UK, cudl was put through to the finals of the competition on Sunday.

The team gave a detailed presentation on how it works to a panel of industry expert judges and more than 1,000 students.

Harri said: “I’m from a family of doctors and every other night I hear scare stories of people who are in critical condition – I wanted to do something that would help them.

“I think we had quite a good idea.

“I’m pretty sure we will get together as a team and see where it takes us.

“If that’s what we can do in just four days, I wonder what we can do in four weeks.”

Harri and the team hope cudl will connect people with their local communities again too.

He added: “It’s a new social outlook on the internet – we are trying to connect people to the public and not just their digital friends.

“We were aiming to recreate the local community spirit which the bigger digital community has destroyed.

“In an emergency, it’s not only quick and helpful medically, it helps to have another human there.

“We set out to help people – we knew we wouldn’t make a single penny from it.”

Harri is applying to study computer science at Oxbridge.

“In the future I definitely want to do something with computers, and YRS is hopefully the first small step in my career,” he said.

The group also made a website, http://cudl.io/ explaining how the app works.

They intend to continue developing it, and start testing it out in Monmouth.

Lyndsay Hope, Head of Computing at Monmouth School, said: “It was absolutely breathtaking waiting for them to present to the judges.

“YRS is like the Henley of coding.

“I’m so proud of them.

“To have built something like that in just four days is just astonishing.

“It is great for students to get involved in a leading industry in a practical, meaningful way.

“We see lots of applications coming out for managing playlists – it’s nice to see kids this age coming up with something that has real social good involved.”

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Watch the Monmouth team ‘Cudl’, at the YRS national finals event (Go to 54:00)