The SOS Card Project

About The SOS Card Project

Who are we?

We are a group of doctors, nurses, translators, scientists, computer scientists, dentists and much more — a rather colourful bunch.

When and where did it start?

The SOS Card Project officially started on Sunday, 2nd of November, 2014 at the Hangzhou International Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational Christian group of foreigners living in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China.

What does The SOS Card Project do?

We provide the SOS Card, a multi-lingual health card, the technology to produce it (for example, a huge translation database which contains names of medical conditions and medicine in dozens of languages), and we form a network to forward calls for help and to exchange health-related information.

Where are you situated?

Since The SOS Card Project forms a world-wide network, we have colleagues in nearly every country.

Legally, The SOS Card Project is a Work of Love of the DAIBOLA Trade Ltd which is situated in London, United Kingdom. This company provides the servers etc. which are situated in the European Union. Hence, the European data protection regulations apply which are known to be the most strict data protection regulations in the world!

How did it start?

It all started with toothache somewhere in 2005. Read more about it in a short history of The SOS Card Project.

Why do you do this?


“Health isn't everything, but everything is nothing without health”
— Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

The SOS Card Project aims to provide best medical care in a globalised world.

What have you achieved so far?

  • Pictograms for medical conditions
    We have developed icons for medical conditions and pre-existing illnesses, so that medical conditions can be recognized at first sight, language-independent
  • Database for replacement drugs
    Not every medicine is available in every part of the world. We have started a database containing alternative medicines which can be used if an active substance is not available in a country.
  • World-wide network for sending requests for help
    In an emergency, you have to call the local emergency hotline. If you need help, for example, because you lost your way, you are looking for a dentist who can speak some (English), etc., we have built a network based on hundreds of telecom providers which can localise you and forward your call for help.
  • First IPA transcription for Arabic language
    The SOS Card contains the name in IPA1), so the doctor can pronounce the name in the correct way. We have created an automatic IPA transcription algorithm for all languages, including for Arabic which did not exist before.
  • SARS-2
    At the beginning of 2020, we realised that SARS-2 would become a pandemic. On January 9th, 2020, the last foreign holder of a SOS Card left PR China. (Some SOS Card holders stayed in China willingly.) On January 28th, we published our advice on SARS-2 to the general public. So far, no SOS cardholder has fallen ill with SARS-2.
International Phonetic Alphabet