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Emergency alertsFormer Israeli PM Ehud Barak invests $1 million in emergency reporting app developer

Published 15 April 2015

Israeli start-up Reporty Homeland Security has raised $1 million from former prime minister and minister of defense Ehud Barak. The company’s technology aims to streamline communication between citizen and government agencies at the same time that it protects the user’s privacy. The company’s application establishes a two-way video and audio connection to the emergency help center, transmitting information which gives the precise location of the person making the report and allowing for an evaluation of the incident report’s credibility.

Israeli start-up Reporty Homeland Security (note that the company’s Web site is still under development) has raised $1 million from former prime minister and minister of defense Ehud Barak. The company’s technology aims to improve and streamline communication between citizen and government agencies at the same time that it protects the user’s privacy.

The company says it is now developing a global platform for real-time reporting – reporting which is especially important during emergencies, when it can save lives.

Barak’s investment will accelerate product development, allow the company to hire more people, and distribute its system to emergency services and government organizations.

Jewish Business News reports that that emergency services and government agencies receive hundreds of millions of calls every year. The average time of a call to an assistance center is 2-3.5 minutes, during which center professionals must rapidly gain an understanding of the situation and identify the location of the call – and also evaluate the credibility of the incident report and the individual making the call – in order to make a quick decision about the best and most effective use of the resources on hand. Experts note that a vast amount of effort is invested in this process of understanding, clarification, identification, and evaluation – especially since studies have shown that 20-30 percent of calls to emergency help centers are false alarms.

JBN reports that in Israel, where emergency and security services are always on the ready, more than 20 percent of the ten million calls made every year to emergency services are nuisance calls. Magen David Adom, Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross – which is already working with Reporty — says that 23 percent of the nine million calls made to it annually are false alarms.

Quick identification of the location from where the caller is calling is also essential: In the United States, more than a few people a year die because emergency and rescue services fail to identify their correct location in time.

Reporty says its goal is to change this making the reporting of an emergency, and the reception of the report at the emergency help center, more efficient by using a system for real-time video transmission which incorporates a machine learning algorithm for identifying the location where the call is coming from, even if the call originates from inside a building. The application establishes a two-way video and audio connection to the emergency help center, transmitting information which gives the precise location of the person making the report and allowing for an evaluation of the incident report’s credibility.

The application also allows for communication with pre-designated “guardians,” that is, people designated by the user as individuals capable of helping them in emergencies.

Reporty’s solution combines a smartphone app and a command and control system installed at emergency centers. The company notes that its system may also be installed at sites such as airports and company premises.

Tel Aviv-based Reporty was founded last year its CEO Amir Elichai, a former commander in an elite IDF unit with experience in venture capital in Israel. Pinchas Buchris, former director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Defense and a former commander of the IDF’s 8200 sig-int unit, is a director of the company.

The company plans on hiring ten people by the end of the year, mainly in mobile and algorithm development.

The solution we are developing is based on deep technology, both on the end-user side and on the command and control side,” said Elichai, adding, “We are excited by the faith that Ehud Barak has placed in us. His rich experience in security will undoubtedly assist us is formulating our strategy and in launching the product in Israel and around the world.”

Barak said, “Reporty provides an answer to a vital need of every citizen, namely a sense of security based on immediate and simple access to emergency services, and connection at critical moments with those closest to him or her. For organizations such as municipalities, hospitals, airports, the police, fire and rescue services and so forth, Reporty will provide a platform for control and reporting that involves citizens but maintains their privacy. Reporty is led by a group of well-qualified, goal-oriented professionals, and I believe that this high-quality team will be capable of continuing to develop the product for additional uses that are relevant to both official bodies and citizens everywhere in the world.”