When Carol Kosterka’s husband died a few years ago, she suddenly realized that without children and without family that checked on her regularly, she was alone. She worried about what would happen if she was in an accident or if something happened to her and she wasn’t able to reach her phone and call for help.

That worry inspired her to develop the iPhone app iCall4Help, designed to contact people if you’re in an accident or have an emergency.

Say you’re going for a bike ride alone. Before you head out, you can set up a “Check on Me” alarm in the app that will go off after a designated amount of time. The app will activate and ask if you are okay. If you don’t press “I’m OK!” iCall4Help will email, text, or leave a voice message for certain people you’ve designated.

The app can be used by any person in any situation: parents who want to make sure their children get home safely, people going on blind dates who want an extra sense of security, or even people who are doing basic yard work and may be operating dangerous equipment.

“Just because it came about from someone who lives alone, it doesn’t mean it’s for people that are alone,” said Kosterka, a Santa Barbara resident for 20 years. “It’s for all ages, all circumstances. It’s really only limited by a person’s imagination and needs.”

Kosterka, who has a small background in technology, devised the idea for the app, but it was developed by Mountain Pass Technology. She pitched the idea to the company, and after three months of going back and forth about how to improve it, Mountain Pass Technology debuted iCall4Help.

It was made available in the Apple app store for $2.99 in late December and will be released for Android in the near future.


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