Personal Safety App Review

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Below are a few of the personal safety apps that were discussed on the show. All of them are useful in different ways in the event of an emergency. I have tested for their accessibility and use ability. Some are listed among the top apps for 2020.

EMNet FindERNow

App Store Rating: 4.3 

Price: Free with an option to upgrade if you want more information on paediatric options

Helps you find the closest ER with one click and uses the  phone’s built in GPS to get you directions.

This app, created by Massachusetts General Hospital in MA, helps you find the closest ER with one click and uses the  phone’s built in GPS to get you directions. Perfect for use while traveling or at home, it is important to note; this app only works in the United States.

Most of the options on the screen are labeled for VoiceOver users. In the map area, at the center of the main screen, there are even rotor options for zoom and points of interest. The buttons to call 911, your location, pin markers for the hospitals, and the link to start getting directions all work correctly. You can even double -tap and hold on the hospital name to get more information. There are a few places, however, that are not labeled. There is an unlabeled heading at the top and two at the bottom which VoiceOver reads as possible text for location and menu, but they cannot seem to be activated with or without VoiceOver.

I found the app to be straightforward and fairly intuitive to use. Upon opening the app for the first time, you will have the option of allowing it to use your location. This is necessary if you want the app to locate options near you. Tapping on the  nearest location took me to the Map’s app for GPS and the menu option gave me more information about each hospital in my area.

Siren GPS

App Store Rating: 4.4

Price: FreeAdds a panic button to your phone that calls 911 or its equivalent. Will determine your location only if your community subscribes to Siren 911.

Note: this app is available in multiple countries around the world.

When you first open the app, it asks you to use your location as most other apps do. Then it asks you to create an account. It’s a pretty accessible set up process. After all that is done, the main page is pretty accessible. If you are in an emergency, you can hit the Fire, ambulance, or Police button and it will ask if you want to call 911. 

ICE Medical Standard

App Store Rating: 4.4

Price: Free with in app purchases

Offers a medical ID which displays on your phone’s lock screen.

This app allows you to create a medical ID and have it as an overlay for your wallpaper on your lock screen. When you first open the app, it puts you right on the ICE tab and you can fill out or edit the information. It asks for information such as your name, address, photo, emergency contact, gender, birthday, allergies, medications and more general information. You can add as little or as much personal information as you wish. You will need to go into the. Wallpaper tab to enable it to show on your lock screen. It is also recommended that this app is easily accessible by having it in the top right or left corner of your home screen if you do not wish to have your personal information on your lock screen. It is very easy to use on iOS and is also available for Android.

Medical ID

Android only

The major difference between this app and the ICE app is that you can send location information to emergency contacts, set up multiple profiles for different family members, and call ICE contacts from your lock screen.

Circle of Six

App Store Rating: 4.4

Price: Free

IOS only

Aimed specifically at college students, Circle of Six allows you to add six trusted contacts to the app so they can be notified with  2 taps that you need help, even if it means you  need a phone call to give you an excuse to walk away.

One thing to note for any VoiceOver users out there, the app is not great on iOS. Also, Canada is not an available region. 

Find My 

Only available on Apple Devices

All ready installed when device is purchased

This app allows you to track your friends and devices. Of course, a friend has to give you permission to track them or vice versa. It is useful in situations when you know a friend or a family member is expected somewhere at a certain time and they don’t show up or if they don’t answer their phone. Those are just a few examples of how it can be used.

Google Trusted Contacts

Appstore Rating: 2.6

Price: Free

This app allows users to have a direct line of sharing between one another. It let’s you add trusted contacts who then can request your location if there is an issue. However, you can deny the request if everything is fine. If you are not able to respond, your last known location is sent automatically within a certain timeframe. 

When you first open the app, it asks you to sign in. After you go through all the steps to sign in and grant or deny Google access to your location, it will ask you which contacts you want to add as trusted contacts. After all this is done, you are good to go. The app is very accessible and straight forward. 

After some exploration, I can’t seem to find this app on the Play Store.

Conclusion

These are only a handful of the safety apps out there. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, go with what you feel is best for you. If you do have suggestions for other safety apps that we haven’t explored, do feel free to send us an email at feedback@handsonsafety.net

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