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An App for When You 'Can't Wait'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 8 2010

A Canadian nonprofit has released a mobile app for people with medical conditions that might make them need to run to the bathroom in a hurry.

The aptly named "Can't Wait" app might seem to be a prime target for potty humor, but the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada last week released results of a survey of about 1,400 people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease in which roughly three-quarters of respondents said they've chosen to stay home for fear of not being able to access a bathroom while out and about.

The idea here, according to a press release, is to give some of those people peace of mind when they're out and about — since, if someone with IBD has this app, they would theoretically be able to always hang out near someplace they can, well, go. The theory of change here is that by alleviating feelings of anxiety and isolation related with going out — no one else has this kind of problem, how embarrassing would it be if I had an accident, and so on — this application will allow more people with IBD to have greater access to public space and public life.

All the bathroom locations in the application are submitted by users, according to a Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada spokeswoman, and there were 600 total in the system at the application's launch last Monday. The application is available both as a mobile application and on the web.

This might sound familiar to New York City residents, who already have a similar website.