With the tragic events that have recently unfolded in Japan, there is a large segment of the population who require medical attention, certainly in excess of what Japan’s health care system is used to supplying.
Many of them have turned to the medical app, “Medical Encyclopedia for Home Use” — an application that offers basic first aid advice for treating medical injuries. The developers of the app have made it free of charge due to the recent catastrophic events.
The application is currently the number one downloaded free app in the Japan iTunes store, reflecting the tremendous need for continued healthcare treatment in the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent events.
The iPhone has done extremely well in Japan, with millions of Japanese users. In the future, as smart phones become more ubiquitous, it will be interesting to see if governments release apps specifically for situations like the current one.
Official government sanctioned apps that help look for lost loved ones, or provide resources for those affected by these types of events could provide significant utility. App Stores allow for quick and streamlined distributions for these types of apps, allowing them to get to millions of users at once.