We all love our smartphones for the convenience they bring to our lives and how they keep us better connected to friends and family – as well as giving us access to the content and music we love.
But did you know that there are a number of ways that your smartphone can save your life? And these are ways that go beyond the most obvious: using it to call the emergency services or message for help.
With new tech like VoIP connections now being increasingly deployed as phone systems for healthcare companies, the link between communications technologies and better treatment- including life-saving interventions – is becoming clear. Below are the ways that your smartphone could be your best friend in an emergency.
Early Detection of Stroke and Heart Attack
There are now smartphones on the market that feature an inbuilt ECG monitor. Users simply rest their fingers on their device, and an inbuilt algorithm will monitor users’ vital stats and let them know whether they’re at risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Ultrasound information and electrical signals are analyzed, meaning that the device can detect the likelihood of a user developing these conditions even before they’ve experienced any symptoms.
First Aid Information
If the worst has happened and you or someone you’re with has suffered an accident or injury, and you’re far from help, then your phone can be a vital source of first-aid information while you’re waiting for an ambulance to arrive or on the drive to the hospital.
From easy-to-follow video demonstrations on how to make a tourniquet from a shirt to information on what to do if someone’s choking, the info on your phone could literally mean the difference between life and death.
Hopelessly lost on a hike in the middle of nowhere? Even if you have no signal on your smartphone, if you’ve been forward-thinking enough to download maps of your route and the surrounding area to your device, then you’ll have a great chance of finding your way back to safety.
The torch incorporated into your smartphone could also be critical if you’re lost and wandering in the dark.
Find a Signal Apps
Downloading a survival app to your phone that’ll display the most recent location your phone was able to pick up a signal could make a crucial difference if you’re in an emergency and can’t get a connection. To help you get back to this spot, most smartphones also feature inbuilt compasses to guide your way.
If you’re in a stranded-in-the-wild situation, then knowing what is and isn’t safe to eat could well save your life. Download to your device an app such as Wild Edibles; this tool not only contains images to help you identify plants that can be foraged safely but also gives the user information on how to find, harvest, and safely prepare them.
Google has recently released its new personal safety tool, Trusted Contacts. Once the app is downloaded, the user simply needs to allocate certain friends and family members ‘trusted’ status. If you choose to use this app, you can quickly and easily share your location with these contacts. After five minutes, unless you have canceled the request, your trusted contacts will be advised of your location and can call assistance or come to your aid.
As an added safety net, your last known location is shared with your designated contacts even if your phone is offline.
HIV and Syphilis Detection
An innovative dongle that attaches to a smartphone has recently been designed and developed by a team of researchers at Columbia University. With just a drop of blood, the device can test for the presence of HIV and syphilis infection, and users can receive their results in just fifteen minutes.
The dongle doesn’t even require a battery: it draws its power from the smartphone it’s attached to.
There are several free smartphone apps designed to help and support those experiencing acute distress and suicidal thoughts or feelings. Similar apps can be used to get to know the signs to look for in others that could suggest a problem and how to reach out to friends or loved ones that we’re worried about in this regard.
Monitoring for Parkinson’s Disease
This amazing app analyses voice patterns – users simply need to speak into the phone for the device to detect any vocal impairment present that could signal the onset of Parkinson’s Disease.
The app also allows users with Parkinson’s to monitor the progression of their condition through a range of finger-tapping activities, memory games, and more.
Help is at Hand
So there you have it, just some of the ways that your smartphone could save your life in a range of situations. With advances in tech coming thick and fast, our phones will no doubt play an increasingly important part in keeping us safe in the future. In-built monitoring and assessment tools will likely, very soon, be incorporated into our devices as standard to help keep us in good health throughout our lives.