BOSTON- Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH)  Emergency Medicine Network  (EMNet) have announced an update to their free findERnow smartphone application that allows users to find the most accessible emergency department (ED) based on current drive time. Previous versions of the app allowed users to find EDs based on distance but did not include drive-time estimates, which can be critical in an emergency.

“We have received a lot of great feedback about the app since its release in 2010,” says Carlos Camargo, MD, DrPH, MGH physician and division chief of EMNet. “One request that kept coming up from users – especially paramedics – was for us to integrate real-time traffic data to help guide and accelerate decision-making in an emergency.”

The findERnow app is based on EMNet’s unique nationwide ED database. It includes information about several ED-specific characteristics, such as annual patient visit volume, and if the ED is a trauma or burn center. With generous support from the R Baby Foundation, EMNet also created a pediatric-specific subscription version of the app, allowing access to additional information about which EDs may be better prepared to care for children. The subscription, which costs 99 cents annually, supports ongoing data collection and app enhancements.

“We launched this app as a public service project and our goal has always been to help users get to the closest emergency department as quickly as possible,” says Camargo. “We’re excited that these enhancements will better provide users with the information they need in a medical emergency.”

findERnow is available for both  iPhone and Android users.

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $900 million and major research centers in HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, genomic medicine, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, photomedicine and transplantation biology. The MGH topped the 2015 Nature Index list of health care organizations publishing in leading scientific journals and earned the prestigious 2015 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. In August 2018 the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."