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I have completed bits of my EM training from India. Currently I am boarded with credentials from Christian Medical College, Vellore and also from the prestigious Royal College of Emergency Medicine, UK.  I am currently working in London as an A&E doctor, trying to appreciate the differences in the practise and culture of Emergency Medicine across different healthcare systems. I have always been an avid FOAMed supporter because FOAMed played an indispensable role during the days of my initial training. Through this blog, I aspire to disseminate knowledge and stay up to date with the EM literature. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

PokeMon Emergencies : A Call for Public Health Safety

From the Desk Of:
Sagar Galwankar, MBBS, DNB, FACEE (INDIA), MPH, Dip. ABEM (USA), FRCP (UK)

As I went to work I saw few of my colleagues discussing about this new app called PokeMon GO.

This is a Freely available Video Game played via a downloadable app. 

This allows players to capture digital creatures at real locations synchronized with GPS. The GPS Activated locations are called POKESPOTS and the players can capture and gain points called XP. 

There are various awards and rewards by playing this game. 

This has a lot of implications. 

There is massive Public Frenzy and craze and as I had guessed People are trespassing and many accidents and injuries are anticipated when driving walking as people continue to play  and not pay attention.

A New Era of Public Safety Threat has emerged and reached a whole new level !

I recently read this article: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2016/07/14/death-by-pokemon-public-safety-fears-mount-as-pokemon-go-craze-continues.html

Were we not glued on enough to the Smart Phone on Social Media and video games ?

Were we not disconnected enough that Messaging became the New means of Communication ?

Were we not lonely enough that animated characters are the new friends ?

Technology can with advances but also came with Public Health Threats.

Smarts Phone created a new platform and era of STAT COMMUNICATIONS and UPTODATE INFORMATION.

That brought the Public Health Threat of Civil Safety as Social Media played an Open Access Platform with information about who is doing what and when.

It also brought to light the Road Safety issues where crashes happened while Texting.

It brought to light the violation of privacy of people in the world.

I believe that Mass Frenzy is a phenomenon which has often been the single most important factor to heightened ignorance and accidents.

Travel on Roads as a Driver/ Rider or Pedestrian, Walking at Home or at work and not focusing on what you do will cause a fall/crash and injuries are more severe than ever.

I have seen patients who have got insomnia as a result of sounds and rings of social media and their addiction to see the phone asap.....like a Pavlov Rat.

This Digital Plantation of Revolutions have brought a new age of humans who have isolated themselves to find solace in their single trusted friend.....their smart phone.

Video Games are the new friends introduced by this trusted friend.

There have been many news which have already started reporting injuries and accidents and I soon think we will have to ask for every car crash / and fall .....Were you playing on the SmartPhone ?

The answer may just be YES.

I think its time that Public Health Social Marketing Strategies highlight the urgency to design initiatives to break this addictive unsafe habits of SmartPhone Mania....so Public Health can be safer than before !

When people's mind is fixated on one thing then that is what drives their lives. 

Texting, trespassing and all the crashes falls and accidents with the above apps proves that these are sane people who are conditioned to commit themselves to this public safety risk and hazards..... this is much bigger than just a Habit.... this is addiction and the single biggest Mental Health Challenge to Public Health.

Author: 
                                                   
Dr. Sagar Galwankar  

MBBS, DNB, FACEE (INDIA), MPH, Dip. ABEM (USA), FRCP (UK)
Chief Academic Officer of the INDO-US Emergency and Trauma Collaborative 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Emergency Medicine 
University of Florida, Jacksonville 

(Follow Dr. Galwankar on Twitter @SagarGalwankar)



Originally published at beepers365.blogspot  on July 15, 2016. Reposted with permission.

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