In 2017, people are seemingly on their cell phones more than their eyes are actually open. The reliance on technology has become a serious problem as people, mostly younger generations, continue to roam the streets for Pokémon, crush candy, and talk on social media apps. These kinds of apps account for fully 89% of mobile media time, with 11% being spent on websites; however, there are actually more practical apps that actually help people who are in danger.

New apps that enable easy contact with 911 dispatchers have been released over the last few months. Although it could take a while before these apps are as commonplace as other popular apps, the potential to save a life is certainly there.

“In the middle of a kidnapping or a heart attack or an assault, if you can’t verbally provide your address and exactly what is occurring, it’s very difficult to get you help,” said Michael Martin, co-founder of the Haven app that uses wifi, Bluetooth, and cellular reception to transmit important data to a dispatch call center in the event of an emergency.

According to BNN, the app can alert dispatchers to your location, situation, and tell them exactly what kind of emergency services are needed.

“I kind of had this classic ‘welcome to New York City’ mugging experience,” added Martin. “That’s when I realized just how difficult it is in one of these experiences to get out your cellphone, dial a number, and have a cogent conversation.”

LAW 360 reports that the city of New York urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to hold proceedings to adopt rules to regulate Haven and other 911 apps. NYC officials are skeptical of emergency apps because of the potential to provide misleading data to dispatchers, which could result in dire consequences.

“The city agrees with NASNA [National Association of State 911 Administrators] that standards and rules need to be developed to ensure that apps that do interconnect to the 911 system meet the high standards the public expects,” said city officials.