09/25/2010 10:57 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Memoriam: allow relief workers to speak for the dead

This sound like a difficult matter, but an app like this helps the horriifying task of disaster relief. I sure don't have the background to check out, and would like to hear from others, since this is very early.

For your consideration:

Memoriam: The first app designed to allow you to speak for the dead and displaced.

Memoriam is the first, and so far only, app to allow disaster workers to speak for the dead. In a mass casualty situation, families are often torn apart, never to know what happened to a loved one. The Memoriam app is designed to walk any relief or disaster worker through the process of collecting a DNA sample, taking photos, GPS tagging a location, and collecting identifying characteristics of a body. Imagine it - anyone, anywhere could collect this information, and then send it in an email report to a governmental or NGO receiving agency. The DNA sample, tagged to match the report, would be sent separately. Memoriam is designed so that it can also be used to report displaced children, other vulnerable people, and sexual assaults.

Memoriam's potential uses are widespread. Memoriam could be used when the rubble is finally cleared in Haiti and untold numbers of bodies are uncovered. Memoriam could be used to document hot spots for sexual assaults. It could also be used for credibly reporting mass graves. Memoriam could be the ultimate participatory journalism. And, with Memoriam, all a Third World country would need is a receiving email address for Memoriam to become a death certification platform for public health nurses - allowing rapid tracking of causes of death. 

The Memoriam app is currently being beta-tested in Haiti on a relief trip, October 8, and will be available in the app store shortly thereafter.