ICEcare – 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.