Modern medicine relies a great deal on advanced technologies, but some of these technologies introduce new complications and existing systems muddy the waters further. GPS, for example, is highly accurate, but GPS coordinates are difficult to use. Old fashioned addresses, on the other hand, are pretty easy to remember, but they can be ambiguous, are used differently around the world, and are only assigned to buildings. In disaster situations, addresses are often useless and people end up reverting to descriptives to identify locations.
what3words is a company with a unique product that makes it easy to give precise coordinates to exact locations anywhere on earth without resorting to long number sequences. The system assigns every 3m x 3m square on Earth its own three-word sequence. The Statue of Liberty, for example, has “encounter.wooden.stable” assigned to one of the squares it sits on.
At this year’s CES event in Las Vegas, we got a chance to learn more about the system and its applications in medicine, disaster relief, and public health.