Today nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them, according to Pew Research Center.
Smartphones are increasingly used as an effective means to deliver emergency alerts issued by state and federal agencies, and can serve as lifelines during major disasters. Smartphones can also help save lives during a medical emergency.
For example, Apple’s Medical ID turns any iPhone 4s or newer model into a mobile medical alert bracelet. An iPhone’s medical ID allows doctors or first responders to tap and hold the Emergency button on the home screen (even when it’s locked) to access medical conditions, allergies, emergency contacts, blood type and other potentially lifesaving information.
Another example: The American Red Cross offers a First Aid app that puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. It is fully integrated with 9-1-1 so you can call EMS from the app at any time.
Here at LanguageMAPS, we developed 1st Minute App to provide language translation during medical emergencies. When first responders assist patients with limited English proficiency, the language barrier can pose real challenges. The app prompts a patient to choose their language and add symptoms in a checklist format. This information is translated back to the language of the responder who can then better assist them.
There are several medical and health apps that can potentially help during emergency situations. We recommend that you download, test and become familiar with mobile apps before an emergency occurs.