Toolie Travel Blog

A million-mile flyer talks about the life of a business traveler.

Newsletter: Emergency Assistance Apps for iPhone

It's summer and the living is... well business travelers tend to hate summers because all of the leisure travelers are out and about. It's not that we begrudge them their vacations, it's just that they don't always know "the rules," like not overstuffing their carry-ons such that others cannot get their bags in the overhead compartment.

It's also the time when emergencies are more likely to happen. With inexperienced travelers around who are not prepared for the extra exertions involved in moving themselves and their possessions from place to place, you may find yourself within the vicinity of an emergency situation. Or it might be YOU in that situation. This month I'm reviewing two apps that are worth having on your iPhone: one that covers basic First Aid, and the second that helps store your emergency contact and medical information.

It's Happening: Do You Need Help?

Eighteen months ago, a family member had a medical incident that left us shaken and stirred. (That person has recovered well, thanks for asking.) The first-responders were spectacular, by the way! I knew where to find the medications to show them, but was uncertain of what was taken when. I have remedied that situation. I was glad to be right there when needed, but it of course got me thinking about who would look after me if something happened to me on the road?

That's where this application comes in:

The In Case of Emergency app lets you store crucial medical information about yourself that can help first-responders when you cannot tell them about yourself.

I went ahead and purchased the full version at US$1.99, and the application asked to use my location information. Given that it can help me find a hospital nearby if I need it, I allowed it access. I then filled in the information, after accepting their Terms of Service. There was a place for my emergency contact, my doctor's name and number, and my health insurance policy information, along with any medications that I might need or allergies I had.

I admit to being a bit hesitant about storing this information; like so much other content on my phone, I would not want this falling into the wrong hands. So bear that in mind and always keep good track of your phone!

It's Happening: How Can You Help?

The other situation you might encounter is another traveler needing help. Of course, we all hope that there is a doctor nearby, but if someone's in trouble and you choose to help, there are apps that can provide First Aid information when you need it.

This is the app that got my attention:

The Pocket First Aid and CPR from the American Heart Association includes basic instructions on performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a video demonstration. This is life-saving information that you can use, or that others can use on you.

The app also lets you store medical profiles on family members, which is the other reason why I like the application. This app is perfect for parents who need to keep track of kids and adult children of parents who need care-giving. As with the other application, please treat this information with the greatest care, and keep your phone safe.

Have you found emergency and medical applications that are useful to you? Visit my blog at and leave a comment, and I will include it a future newsletter.
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