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, an application 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 decrease the emergency services response time significantly.



“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 FreshWorks team behind the UseSafer mobile application.

The FreshWorks team behind the UseSafer mobile application.

FreshWorks 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 kicked off mid 2018 and has been limited to supervised consumption sites supported by FHA and the Lookout Society. During this pilot phase the app has been geo-fenced so that it is only available to people within the supervised consumption sites that have been selected for this testing.



Set a Timer

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.

Share Location

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.

Type of Drug

When planning to consume, the user can select the 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.


Trusted Friends

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

iOS: Swift 4
Android: Kotlin
Backend: NodeJS
Call & Messaging Framework: Twillio


Future Plans

Once the pilot phase has been successfully completed, UseSafer will be rolled out publicly. There are future plans to make this app available to people in all of BC and Canada. Currently the app is available in English only. There are plans to allow users to change to their preferred language.


What The Client Is Saying

Use Safer mobile application developed by FreshWorks Studio

“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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