ICEcare: Comprehensive Emergency Contact and Preparedness Information

ICEcare (AppStore Link)
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ICEcare
Developer: Corsoft Corporation
Price: free Download on the App Store
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icecare-iphone-appICEcare - By now we've all received the email about ICE — In Case of Emergency. The chain email has been circling the globe for years encouraging cell phone users to create an entry called ICE so that paramedics or hospital staff will know who to contact in case of emergency.

There are more than a dozen ICE apps currently available in the App Store. Most are little more than a notes-style list of emergency contacts with space for allergies and medications. A few take it further by offering one-touch dialing of the emergency phone number. But, none go quite as far as ICEcare from Corsoft Corporation.

ICEcare has all the expected stuff — emergency contacts, quick-touch dialing, and medical history. The app also has some bonus material for use in other types of emergencies. There is a first aid section with treatment for 9 different ailments from insect bites to the Heimlich Maneuver. The Disaster Recovery section has tips for what to do during major emergencies such as a flood or earthquake. These general information sections are accompanied by section that can be customized with your personal Home Emergency Plan.

ICEcare is the most comprehensive emergency app we've checked out so far. But it's not without its quirks.

First off, all of your information is managed online. You can't enter or maintain your emergency contact info from within the app. It's a simple process to go online to the ICEcare website and make a profile, but it's annoying that this can't be done from the app. Also, the ICEcare profile offers the option to upload a photo. It's a smart idea and will let emergency providers verify your identity. But, there's no way to use the iPhone's built-in camera to take a picture or upload an image from the phone's library. This seems like a real missed opportunity.

The other oddity with ICEcare is that's it's not as intuitive as one would expect from an app that's designed for emergency use. The first aid and disaster information is contained in a tab called Communiqué. And the update button to sync your profile with the app is housed rather cryptically under the Sponsors tab.

Even with these minor inconveniences, ICEcare is good-looking app that does exactly what is says it will do — and more than other apps in its genre. Even better, it's free.

Just remember, all of this emergency info won't do a lick of good if medical personnel can't find it. So, make sure that the ICEcare icon is front and center on your iPhone home screen.

Image Gallery: ICEcare

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  • http://ICEcare.net Bill Cool

    I am with Corsoft, the provider of ICEcare. Thank you for your candid feedback. We will try to incorporate your suggestions in our next release. It helps us to know what we need to do to make it a better. Readers can provide their feedback to comments-at-ICEcare-dot-net. (Thank you).

    We regret the inconvenience about not permitting data entry on the mobile phone. We support most mobile platforms and given a choice, most people prefer data entry on a regular desktop. As you know, for many phones, adding data on mobile can be a daunting experience. This profile is for lifetime as it permits users to flexibly update data, regardless of the mobile phone they now use or intend to use in future.

    Emergencies are bound to happen. It helps to be prepared.

  • Elvis

    What good are these apps--or indeed, an ICE entry of any sort--to those of us with Exchange email, since the OS forces you to use password protection to unlock the phone?

  • Barbara Holbrook

    @Elvis: Some of the ICE apps will float your ICE information over your wallpaper so even if your phone is password protected emergency personnel can access your ICE contact. I don't want to make my contact's info that available to the whole world ...

    ICEcare allows you to print a sticker with a reference number that can be used by emergency services providers to identify you and obtain your ICE info. This is really only useful to the hospital and not the paramedics who don't have time to hunt for information. But, it's better than nothing.

  • http://ICEcare.net Bill Cool

    @Elvis: I agree with Barbara. Besides what good is having a phone number? Paramedics are stressed with their job and do not call anyone in reference to the victim. If the victim has any allergies or is taking any prescription medications, then they will not know about it. With ICEcare, they will be in a position to provide informed care, which then helps expedite full recovery beyond that point. The law enforcement assumes the job of informing the family.

    ICEcare enables you to print a card for your wallet with your health details. Since year 2000, authorities in California always look for wallet and the phone of the victim. Having an ICEcare Card in your wallet helps convey critical health details of the victim. If the emergency had a major impact on someone around you, a family member, a friend or a colleague, then ICEcare, will help you provide first aid right away. During an emergency, every second counts.

    ICEcare helps you be prepared for yourself and your world around you.

  • LarryMcJ

    I looked at all the reviews I could find for this app before installing, and since none of them were anything less than 1-star, I will wait for the developer to fix the problems. Additionally, the use of this app requires lowering security levels which many folks won't want to do.

  • http://ICEcare.net Bill Cool

    @Larry: Thank you for bringing this out. For the iPhone, we have only one release to date. Same software was evaluated by the editors here at appcraver.com. I am not sure why the difference but based on the write-up, editors have taken the time to explore and understand the solution before publishing their review. The ratings here are justified by the review.

    As a solution, ICEcare is meant for emergency preparedness. You should have it on your phone to help you more than anyone else. The ratings are nice but if you believe it can help you, then you should have it. Next release would get better. We hope and pray our users do not have to use it (as in, not be in an emergency). But prayers don't always work in time so being prepared is the next best thing, right?

    Yes, Internet Explorer (IE) requires that we lower the security to access that web page (http://ICEcare.net/start.aspx) as it has a frame (page within a page), The inside page uses SSL. While IE demands lower security, *all* other browsers work just fine. We created this page within a page to simplify our offering for corporate customers who can offer ICEcare as a branded solution from their web site easily.

  • LarryMcJ

    @Bill Cool: All points taken and I should have clarified that it's only a security issue in IE...I use Safari on a Mac and it's just fine :-) My comment about the review ratings (those I've read, anyway) were not intended to downplay your product, but simply that I put more credence into user reviews than editorial reviews (at least those that have the stupid factor filtered out of them ).

    I think I'll also mention this app up to my bride, who is the operations head for one of the largest 911 centers in the US.

  • http://ICEcare.net Bill Cool

    @Larry: Thank you. No worries about downplay ... constructive criticism is welcome here. I agree that user reviews should have credibility. May be you can tell us your rating after you have used it. Editorial reviews have to justify their rating and that makes it more useful.

    And yes, we *love* referrals. Thank you.

  • LarryMcJ

    @Bill Cool: something must really be wrong. I just filled out the account profile, including a life-threatening allergy, plus my med and the medical history that I only have one kidney, etc. When I then click on ICEcare on my iPhone it says who I am correctly, my email...but no allergies, no meds, no medical history, no contact info, etc. All this is filled out correctly on your site.

  • http://ICEcare.net Bill Cool

    @Larry: Most likelly resolution: Click on SAVE button on each tab after you edit information on that tab. Then update the information on your phone and it should work. If you still have any problems, please call: 650.286.2870. Or email: help-at-icecare-dot-net.

  • http://www.theiphoneappreview.com Shaun

    Great idea, but even with the icon on the home screen of your iPhone - the chances of a paramedic checking your mobile for a list of your medical conditions and emergency contacts is slim to none.

  • http://ICEcare.net Bill Cool

    @Shaun: Authorities (in United States) have been checking the Wallet and Mobile Phone of the victim for over a decade now. Paramedics call on medical information services if they see a bracelet tag with an id and a phone number. This is Standard Operating Procedure.

    ICEcare provides an option to print card for the wallet, and a sticker, which is to be affixed on users mobile phone to convey presence of emergency information within ICEcare application (http://bit.ly/TwPH4). It ensures that your critical information will be presented to paramedics at the right time. (Please retain ICEcare on the first page on your iPhone).

  • Karen

    This is a pointless app since Apple doesn't allow emergency app icons on the locked iPhone screen. (It should allow up to three ICE icons to be chosen by the iPhone user in "settings" that show up even if locked).

    So what? I'm supposed to either be OK with dying and keep my iPhone data private, or have no privacy in case I lose the iPhone just in case someone will use this ICE.

    Another boner by Apple. Dumb dumb dumb...

  • http://ICEcare.net Bill Cool

    @Karen: It would be nice if Apple provided option to enable access to ICEcare when the iPhone is locked (I could possibly find a few other things as well). But to be fair, this capability does not exist in other devices either! And barring those deficiencies, they provide many good things as well. We have to make the best out of prevalent situation. Here is how we propose the solution:

    > Lock your phone and maintain security of your data

    > Get ICEcare card - it presents critical information about your health that you can retain in your wallet. They check on victims wallet and phone so you can rest assured that your critical health data will get their attention right away

    > ICEcare on your mobile can be enabled when you are conscious and also when you need to assist others who may be affected by an emergency (by facilitating First Aid, etc.)