• iOS
  • Android

UseSafer is a health emergency app tool to help alert emergency responders when a user has potentially overdosed on a drug. The goal is to increase the emergency service response rate and combat the opioid crisis in BC and beyond.

Developed for

Project Summary

The Fraser Health Authority (FHA)  is one of five regional health authorities in B.C. working together with the Ministry of Health. They provide high quality, appropriate, and timely health services to more than 1.8 million people living in communities stretching from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.

Together with the  Fraser Health Authority, FreshWorks developed UseSafer, a health emergency app that assists in the fight against the drug overdose crisis. It acts as a tool to help alert emergency services when a user has potentially overdosed and aims to significantly decrease the emergency services response time.

The Challenge

“Every day in Canada 11 people die from an opioid overdose.”

Health Canada

While many cities across the country offer supervised consumption sites, Fraser Health Authority is aware of the even greater danger that the unsupervised consumption of drugs pose. To tackle this challenge, FHA put forth a call for a solution to the opioid crisis with the help of Innovation Boulevard in the fall of 2017.

The Solution

usersafer app on mobile phoneFreshWorks originally responded to the call for solutions to tackle the opioid crisis made by FHA and Innovation Boulevard. As part of these efforts, FreshWorks conducted a vast amount of market research into innovative solutions, as well as assisted with the user research and solutioning activities. 

With detailed user stories created, our developers were able to take the ideas and transform them into a mobile application that can assist in the fight against the opioid overdose crisis.

The pilot project for the UseSafer app was kicked off mid 2018 and was limited to supervised consumption sites supported by FHA and the Lookout Society. During this pilot phase, the digital health software was geo-fenced so that it was only available to people within the supervised consumption sites that were selected for this testing.

The Features

Set a Timer
Share Location
Type of Drug
Trusted Friends
The user can set a timer when they decide to consume. Should the user not disable the alarm within 30 seconds he is believed to potentially have overdosed.
The user can enable GPS sharing while using the app so that this location can be forwarded to the trusted friends in the case of a potential overdose through text message.
When planning to consume, the user can indicate what type of drug they will be using. This information, along with the location, will be forwarded in case of a potential overdose to better assist with medical treatment.
The user can add up to three trusted friends in the application. The provided information (name and phone number) will be used to contact these trusted friends in the case of a potential overdose. The trusted friend will receive an initial text message to verify the provided phone number.

Technologies Used

The UseSafer iOS app utilizes Swift, while the Android app relies on Kotlin, with the backend using NodeJS.

Future Plans

Once the pilot phase has been successfully completed, UseSafer will be rolled out publicly. There are future plans to make this health emergency app available to people in all of BC and Canada. 

What the Client is Saying:


They did a great job of listening to our needs and offering affordable solutions that suited our user base.

"Their team was accommodating throughout the development process and returned deliverables quickly. They listened well and offered thoughtful solutions tailored to the needs and urgency of the project. Thanks to their work, an MVP is in focus group testing."

Chris Buchner

Director of Fraser Health Authority

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