Tech Talk: Smartphone to the Rescue

*Every week, Red Cross Tech Talk looks at different technology or social media tools that pertain to the work we do at the Red Cross. Have an idea? Please let us know!

*Guest blog by Michael Tomascik, Public Affairs, Ottawa

Picture yourself busily working away on that big report when all of a sudden a co-worker in the next cubicle is facing a life-threatening medical emergency and cries out for help. Reaching for a phone to call 9-1-1 is always the first move to make, but being proactive and providing aid during the first few minutes following a medical emergency is crucial, and could mean the difference between life and death.

So what do you do if your first aid skills are a little rusty and you don’t have nerves of steel? Well, reaching for your smartphone isn’t a bad start if you have the emergency medical services (EMS) app, S.O.S. by the American Red Cross. This past summer S.O.S. became available for all Android users free of charge.

The app was developed and produced for the American Red Cross with the assistance of Sharecare and talk show host, Dr. Oz. The app provides real-time emergency care instructions and an expansive resource guide for more than 50 emergency care scenarios. This app offers dynamic videos, 3-D animations, and audio/visual cues and tutorials all geared towards saving lives and coaching even the most nervous responder through tense situations.

Additionally, the S.O.S. app comes equipped with 9-1-1 dialing which auto-launches a map with location information so emergency responders can be dispatched to assist swiftly.

A similar free app called First Aid was recently launched by the British Red Cross with many of the same features to help users deal with emergency situations.

These apps don’t replace First Aid training, but are innovative tools that can help you in an emergency.

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