When I was a kid, I tragically suffered through long, boring car rides. Nothing to do but watch the landscape crawl by and fight with siblings.
During those times my mind would often wander to how amazing it would be, to live in the future where I would be able to watch shows on a personal little TV. One that floats in front of my face, of course, since it's the future.
While we’re still far from the floating TV I imagined, we carry far more useful items in our pockets. Smart phones have created a lot of social problems in the world, but there is no denying the value of having an “all-knowing” device in our pockets, ready at moment’s notice.
Not all of us have the time, or inclination, to regularly attend medical training to keep those skills sharp and ready to go when a life is on the line. Smart phones allow us to have the ability to expand our readiness.
Below are ways to supplement your training and keep important, potentially life saving information at your thumbs. These are the top-rated apps on Google Play Store and what I think of them after playing around with each.
Google Play Store Rating: 4.6
- Not intuitive or set up in a way that makes it easy to find the right topic in an emergency.
- Lots of ads. Some that pop up in the middle of looking at important information.
- Doesn’t seem designed with emergency use in mind.
- No descriptive pictures
Doc’s Rating: 1
This app is not well thought out and is clunky to use and not very informative. Not only is there no emergency section so you can use it when someone is bleeding to death, it offers nothing in the way of pictures to describe what’s being discussed.
The multiple adds were frustrating with some popping up in the middle of my attempt to find a section talking about severe blood loss, which I never found by the way.
Google Play Store Rating: 4.4
- Bad tourniquet advice under “What not to do” section of Hemorrhage.
- Confusing description of how to improvise a TQ
- Says to remove the tourniquet if bleeding is controlled! (don't do that)
- Contains ads
- Uses precise medical terms like “Asphyxia” that most people won’t know.
Doc’s Rating: 1.5
Slightly better than the pervious app, this one likes to use expensive words that are likely to go over the head of anyone who isn’t an expert on medical trauma. The information in the app appears to be outdated as many of the techniques described have long ago been discarded. Use this one with the understanding it could be wrong.
3. First Aid Kit: First Aid and Emergency Techniques (Smart First Aid)
Google Play Store Rating: 4.9
- Easy to use interface. Finding the right section is intuitive and quick
- Includes Videos about injuries, (but not good ones)
- Includes ads
- No “Severe Bleeding” section
- Not designed for quick emergency use.
Doc’s Rating: 2
This app is easy to use, but appears to be more centered on non-emergency first aid. To get a higher rating from me would require some effort put into emergency trauma. When you need information in a life-or-death scenario, you need it immediately. Basic first aid, like how to stop a nosebleed, can wait a few minutes while you look it up on Google, making this app useless in my opinion.
Google Play Store Rating: 4.4
- No Ads
- Easy intuitive Lay out
- Can call 911 from the App
- Helpful pictures
- Some instructions not written well
- Doesn’t show how to apply a TQ
First Aid Canadian Red Cross: Same as American Red Cross
IFRC: Same as Red Cross
Doc’s Rating: 4
This is a great app, and held the top spot for quite a while until unseated by the next contestant for the number one spot. The app is well designed with an intuitive layout making it easy and quick to use. It does offer a couple of poorly done videos, but at least the pictures are decent to show examples.
Play Store Rating: 4.6
- Great instructional videos with every topic
- Easy to use lay out that would work well in an emergency
- Call 911 right from the App
- Find a hospital on the App
- Must have an Email Account attached to it.
- No description of how to apply a tourniquet
- Might not be able to find a hospital or call an ambulance in the US
Doc’s Rating: 4.5
This is the best apps I’ve seen, easy. It’s not made for only the US, so there could be things that don’t apply to your location. The app is easy to use and it’s quick to find the right topic you’re searching for. The use of great quality, 30 second videos also stands out here to show exactly what you need to do. This app is worth a look and the best one I’ve personally tested.
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