Cell phone use has become a large part of our culture and has even coined the term nomophobia or the fear of being without a cell phone. Mobile phones often receive a lot of negative attention in regards to our health. Texting is to blame for vehicle accidents and there is always the highly debated health risks involved with cell phone use, but can your cell phone actually save your life?
Avoid an Accident
Avoid an accident with the assistance of the iOnRoad application which is available on both the iOS and Android platforms. iOnRoad is a unique application that uses your cell phone’s camera to measure the distance between your vehicle and the car in front and alerts you when you start getting too close. For more information on the iOnRoad application and other technology for traveling please see my previous article “Technology for your road trip”.
Be Aware of Disease Outbreaks
Summertime is a popular time of year for traveling, but as more people travel so do contagious diseases. HealthMap is an application that tracks outbreaks of contagious diseases and marks the outbreaks on an easy to read map. Whether you want to see any outbreaks that occur near where you live or if you want to be aware of what risks you face while traveling, HealthMap will keep you safe by helping you to identify and avoid potential health risks. HealthMap is available for both iOS and Android platforms.
Track Vital Signs
Zephyr Techology is a company that produces mobile health monitoring devices that can be worn in a variety of ways. The monitor can be worn during sleep or exercise and transmits vital signs wirelessly. A family member or even your doctor can view your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and glucose levels. Zephyr Technology offers a variety of applications such as ZephyrME which is a personal monitoring application, ZephyrMD which allows the monitoring of multiple people, and ZephyrLIFE which monitors fitness and stress levels. Zephyr applications are currently only available for use on Android devices.
The InReach device by Delorme works with the Earthmate application in order to provide 2 way satellite communications. InReach works with your phone to allow you to text, update your Facebook status, send an emergency alert with your coordinates, or allow others to remotely track your location. The satellite communication makes all of this possible anywhere in the world regardless of cellular reception. Earthmate is available for both iOS and Android devices.
If you travel a lot the Google Translate application can help you to communicate accurately with people that speak a variety of language. In an emergency situation quick and accurate communication can make all the difference. Google Translate currently works to translates 64 languages in text format and 24 languages in spoken format.
Emergency Medical Information
What to do in an emergency situation? Both the British and American Red Cross have applications that may help you save a life. The British application is simply titled First Aid by the British Red Cross and the American application is titled S.O.S. by the American Red Cross. These applications provide helpful information for a variety of emergency situations.
Making sure your family is aware of any prescription medications or existing conditions that you have may save your life in an emergency situation. Taking your medications as directed by your doctor is very important. The Med Helper and Med Helper Pro applications can help you keep track of when to take medications as well as what dosage amount to take. The ability to track multiple profiles allows users to track other family members in addition to themselves.
Severe Weather Alerts
While there are applications for tracking earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, many of these applications are user updated which can lead to false alerts. No one wants to receive an alert to expect a tornado only to find out the kid down the block is playing a joke. The Simple Weather Alert and Pro Weather Alert applications monitor the National Weather Service for weather alerts in your area. These applications allow you to customize the type of alert for the various levels of warning alerts.
The bestselling book SAS Survival Handbook now has an application available for download. The application allows fast and easy navigation with great tips for surviving in any climate. Some users reported that the application freezes when there is no wifi connection is available, however I tested the application and it worked problem free with or without wifi so it may depend on the device.
If you are a student check your college website and make sure to register your cell phone number to receive emergency alerts for situations that arise on campus. A simple text message can help you avoid campus during a dangerous situation.