Data shows the average smart phone owner taps into about 27 mobile applications every month.
No doubt, there is an app for everything these days, with innovative minds launching more than 1,000 new ones every day, according to statistica.com. Now, a handful of developers is putting power in the palm of people's hands at a whole new level with apps that can save your life.
In a report you will find only at ABC 4, Good 4 Utah's Ali Monsen lays out four of her favorites.
Former paramedic, Bob Brotchie calls himself an average British first responder who noticed a recurring problem and found a simple solution to solve it.
"I was discovering many unconscious patients or patients that couldn't communicate for themselves, and we couldn't identify them..." Brotchie said. "I started investigating mobile phones as a way of informing first responders," he explained.
Brotchie founded the three-letter acronym, "ICE," or 'In Case of Emergency.'
"It feels pretty cool," he smiled during a Skype interview with Monsen last month.
Now, dozens of ICE apps allow users to program their photo ID and information including allergies, medications, family contacts, and more all in one place. This application even puts the details on your lock-screen, so paramedics can access them as quickly as possible during an emergency.
While ICE has saved numerous lives, it is also about reducing psychological trauma for patients and families and prevents people from lying unidentified in a hospital bed to die alone.
Today, people everywhere continue to find new uses for the concept.
"It can be used to repatriate the phone with it's owner, it can be used for people with dementia and Alzheimer's," Brotchie explained.
What about those times when waiting for paramedics is not an option?
"When people get under stress, their attention gets very narrow and stress can set in," said Rich Woodruff, Communications Director for the American Red Cross.
Minutes matter during these types of situations, and sometimes bystanders have to jump into action.
"If you've got the tools and especially these apps at your fingertips, it's going to make a huge difference in the outcome," Woodruff explained.
The American Red Cross now has a whole suite of mobile applications designed to help you do exactly that. From simple cuts and bruises to full-blown CPR, the apps walk users through step-by-step instructions for administering care, including first aid for pets!
The apps also give users videos and tutorials for every scenario.
"They're very easy to use, they're customizable," Woodruff added.
Experts say the apps often buy people that extra time they need while waiting for responders.
#3 - Suicide Safety Plan
In Utah, people are ending their own lives at an alarmingly high rate, especially when compared with the rest of the nation.
"Part of it could be the culture that's here in Utah. There's even research that discusses the elevation -- the high elevation such as in Utah and Colorado. Those have an impact on some individuals with their brain chemistries," said Alfonso Chacon, Community Relations Director for Valley Behavioral Health, adding that depression and anxiety are both on the rise.
Chacon says one in four adults in the Beehive State have a diagnosable mental illness.
"It's definitely a very serious issue," he said.
That's where Suicide Safety Plan comes in.
The application allows users to preprogram their own personalized plan for what to do when they are in crisis, identifying warning signs, therapeutic distractions, and reasons to live for those times when they are not thinking clearly.
"You can actually add the different coping strategies that you find are helpful to you," Chacon pointed out.
The app also provides a place for people to organize their mental health resources, including therapists, a suicide help line, and if all else fails, 911.
"Maybe you're at a point that you can't stop yourself... This is possibly the last effort you're going to have that's going to save your life," Chacon said.
#4 - Zenly (WEB BONUS)
Worry no more, parents!
Real-time locator app, Zenly allows users to find out exactly where their children (or friends) are at all times. Local Tech Life Coach, Christopher Krause says it is his number one go-to, since he travels often and is always on the go.
"My mom can login at anytime and see where I'm at, and if I'm paused in one place for a day and a half, and if that's not normal, then she'll know something's wrong, and she knows where to check" he explained.
Krause cites Zenly as much more precise and reliable than pinging cell phones, as investigators typically do during a search for a missing person.
"Pinging cell phones] is triangulating between cell phone towers and saying, 'They're in this area,' but the [Zenly] GPS is specific to the phone," he explained.
Zenly users can also send each other estimated arrival times and instant messages. Krause says people need to enable GPS access on their phones in order from the app to work right.
***All four of these apps are free and available for download on the Official App Store and Google Play.
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