BY Walter Hayward 2 MINUTE READ

Getting emergency help at the touch of a (virtual) button is now a reality for all South Africans through the Namola app. By using your phone’s GPS location, Namola operators are able to alert nearby responders who you are and where you are located. And thanks to a sponsorship from Dialdirect Insurance, Namola operates a free service.

Where did the idea for Namola originate?

Namola came about simply because it’s difficult to get help fast in South Africa. Even if you can figure out the right emergency services to call, there is a chance that you will be put on hold (yes, even in an emergency!). If you do get through to an operator, you still face the challenge of having to tell them who you are and where you are, which could be a problem if you’re not familiar with the area. Namola was created as an easy way to access help fast in any emergency, anywhere in South Africa. It is as simple as pressing and holding the emergency button in the app —  we take care of the rest.

What are Namola’s key features? 

Before a user even answers our call, we know who they are and — with the use of GPS — where they are. This saves valuable time in an emergency. The Family Safety feature allows users to live-share their location with their loved ones, thereby providing the peace-of-mind
of knowing where they are and that they’re safe. Test feature: Namola encourages its users to test the app as many times as they wish so that they know how to use it in an emergency.

Emergency information: By filling in your emergency information like your medical aid details, any medical conditions and your vehicle details, a Namola operator will use the information to get you the fastest possible help.

In-app chat feature: If a user can’t talk in an emergency, Namola has an in-app chat feature that allows them to communicate with the Namola operator and responders.

What’s next for Namola?

We are looking at expanding our responder network to ensure that our users continue to get help faster than before. We are also venturing into the wearable space, answering our most asked question: “What happens if I don’t have my phone in an emergency?” This is sure to be a gamechanger when it comes to getting help when you need it the most.

Read more in our March/April 2019 issue of Fast Company South Africa.