iEmergency, by Kavapoint LLC is an “In Case of Emergency” program for the iPhone and iPod Touch devices and costs $0.99 for the full version, and is available in a “Lite” version for free. We’ll be reviewing the full version in this post (hoping that in case of an emergency, we opted to spend the dollar).
For your buck you get a simple, easy to use application that you hope you never have to use. The pages are navigated from 5 tabs at the bottom of the screen. “MyInfo” lists your name and up to three emergency contacts (they can be dialed directly from within the app), and is integrated with your regular phone contacts (in fact, you have to select numbers that you already have saved in the phone’s contacts. The “contacts” tab lists additional information, such as other contacts and their relation to you (parent, spouse, etc…), your physician, hospital, insurance company and even medical record number. The “Medical” tab allows you to list your DOB, blood type, medications, allergies, and any chronic medical conditions you may suffer from. Finally, the “wallpaper” tab allows you to (you guessed it), make a wallpaper to put up on your lockscreen that directs medical personnel with who to contact, any kind of reward information, and instructions to open the app in order to get more medical information.
What the app does well:
It puts everything together really nicely, all for just a buck. All of the things this app does can be done on your own (for example, Photoshop or paint even can edit backgrounds & you could write an “ICE” note in the iPhone’s notes application). However, this puts it all together in a clean tidy app.
What could be improved:
Some of the fields (such as the wallpaper message, or your name) will default to an all caps setting that you can’t undo, basically making you manually uncap every letter before typing it.
Who would I recommend this app for?
*This app would be a no-brainer to purchase if you have some life-threatening or chronic medical condition and even more so with a long list of medical conditions and medications.
*I think it’d be amazingly helpful as a clinician if my patient could just hand me their phone with a list of their medical conditions, medications and allergies (or any prepared list for that matter).
*This app would be most useful for the patient that has a complex past medical history and is traveling away from their usual health care providers / hospital.
*For the general users, you’ll have to balance how much of your information you want people that find your phone (and or wallet) to have.
*For just a dollar though, if you decide you want ICE information on your phone, this is the way to go. You can find the app on iTunes here.
Should you get it?
Will I (or you) actually use this? First of all, I’ve not been a huge fan of ICE (In Case of Emergency) programs in the past. In fact, I don’t even have an “ICE” phone number in my contacts list. And I’ve never looked through any of my patient’s phones (during a resuscitation or otherwise). It would be interesting to know how often EMS & Paramedics actually check phones for ICE contacts (please let us know in the comments section).
So, say you have the program, but you have a password lock on your phone in case it’s ever lost or stolen? The makers of iEmergency address this issue with a printable card from their website for your wallet that will direct emergency personnel to the iPhone app, and even give them your phone’s lock code (if you’ve listed it). Here’s the thing though, what if you get mugged and your friendly mugger decides to take both your phone and your wallet? Now not only do they have an unlocked phone, but all your medical information as well. And the printable card for your wallet? Why not just print out your medical conditions, blood type and allergies on the card and keep that in your wallet (this will still work even when your iPhone’s battery is dead)?