Patient Centric App Review
App Reviewed: First Aid by American Red Cross (Ver. 1.0.3)

Purpose of App Review

  • Assess ease of app to help patients understand basic first aid practices
  • Explore integration of gamification into increasing knowledge of first aid


The American Red Cross has recently created multiple apps in order to help people during emergency situations (e.g. Hurricane, Earthquake).

The First Aid app was released to help users understand situations that require emergency aid and how to react in those situations.

The app is based upon the ‘Everyday First Aid’ program developed by the British Red Cross.

App Specifics:

Last Updated: August 23, 2012
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (Universal)
Requires: iOS 4.2 or later, Android 2.2 and up
Reviewed on: iPhone 4

The app opens up to a central menu, after checking the disclosure agreement . Key sub-menu options are ‘Emergency,’ ‘Learn,’ ‘Prepare,’ and ‘Test.’

The Learn component has a large list of first aid situations. Selecting the topic brings the user to a section on the first aid topic (e.g. asthma attack, bleeding). There is a video that demonstrates what the user can do, along with step-by-step instructions for the situation. Additionally, there is a Q&A section that addresses questions that may come up. Lastly, the user can ‘Test’ themselves.

The testing portion brings in the gamification aspect of the app. Here the user answers questions related to an emergency situation and what actions to take. Interestingly, passing these tests earn the user a badge, which is then linked to the achievement section of Apple’s Game Center.

During an emergency situation, the app supplies quick information similar to the ‘Learn’ section. However, there is an attached option to call for 911.

The ‘Prepare’ section supplies the user a checklist of options and steps to prepare for emergency situations. This includes what to do for environmental disasters (e.g. landslide, tornado, tsunami). The checklist allows the user to identify what they need to collect in order to prepare, or how to keep themselves safe.

Lastly, under ‘More’ there are several information vignettes. These include volunteer work, giving blood, enrolling in a course, and more.

Healthcare goals of app:

The Red Cross First Aid app seeks to help users understand how to approach emergency situations to help those that require aid by utilizing smart devices that are now highly prevalent amongst the population.

Evidence to support goals:

Literature search was performed (search terms: ‘First aid training’ ‘app’ ‘social media’ ‘smart device’ ‘first aid’) with no results found. Limited evidence demonstrating impact of utilization of a smart device to help educate patients on first aid practices.


  • Free


  • App addresses need of bringing first aid info to the general public
  • App was stable during testing and did not crash
  • Visually appealing and easy to utilize
  • Gamification aspect makes the app of interests to multiple users
  • Ability to show scores via Twitter and Facebook


  • Videos could have been more informative

Healthcare Providers that may Benefit from App

  • Primary care providers
  • Those training in first aid

Patients that may Benefit from App

  • Patients training in first aid
  • Teenagers involved with sports or a lot of physical activities
  • Parents of children involved with various physical activities


  • The American Red Cross First Aid app offers the ability to help users understand steps to take in an emergency situation.
  • Pros – Free app sponsored by the Red Cross with appropriate information. Utilizes gamification to help train users to remember proper responses to situations.
  • Cons -Videos could have been more descriptive, however, not necessarily a large detractor of the app.

iMedicalApps Recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating: 4.25

  1. User Interface – 4
  2. Multimedia usage – 3
  3. Price – 5 (free)
  4. Real world applicability – 5

Similar Apps:
WebMD First Aid
Pocket First Aid & CPR


This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your healthcare provider.