Mass General releases national ER locator, smartphone app

If you've ever been on vacation, or even in an unfamiliar part of your own city, you know that trying to find the closest hospital in an emergency situation can be a harrowing experience. To help with the problem, Massachusetts General Hospital's Emergency Medicine Network (EMNet) has launched a national ER locator providing the most accurate and up-to-date information for nearly 5,000 emergency departments in the U.S.

Powered by Google Maps, is being promoted as an indispensable travel tool for people with chronic medical conditions such as food allergies or heart conditions for whom finding an ER in a matter of minutes could mean the difference between life and death.

" was designed with the public in mind," said Carlos Camargo, EMNet director, in a statement. "Traveling with companions who suffer from chronic disease can be extremely challenging, but we hope this new tool will help ease anxiety by helping people to plan ahead in case someone experiences a health emergency while traveling."

In addition to, EMNet has released the latest version of its popular EMNet findER, a free smartphone app that directs users to the closest ER. With version 3.0, EMNet findER now is available for Android phones, as well as the iPhone.

Similarly, Texas-based First Choice ER facilities earlier this year released a version of its smartphone app to enable users to locate, nationwide, the nearest ER or hospital, using a GPS-enabled Apple iPhone. The app is free and available for download through Apple iTunes and the App Store via the iPhone.

To learn more:
- read the announcement