Lifeguard app
Lifeguard app interface. (Photo supplied by Lifeguard Digital Health)

A harm-reduction app from Vancouver-based company Lifeguard Digital Health is gaining traction in Canada among drug users. 

The Lifeguard app’s core feature is a timer, which users set themselves before ingesting their drug of choice. When the timer expires, the user must click a button indicating they haven’t overdosed. If they don’t, the app automatically contacts emergency responders on the user’s behalf. 

Since March 2020, the app has saved 69 lives, founder and CEO Jeff Hardy told Canadian Affairs.  

But some experts question whether harm-reduction tools like Lifeguard really serve the needs of users.

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Fin DePencier is a journalist, photographer and filmmaker based in Toronto. Over the past few years, he has reported on the ground from Ukraine, Armenia, Lebanon and Kazakhstan as a correspondent for Palladium...