My Android Apps – ICE: In Case of Emergency Review

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One of the more logical recommendations emergency workers offer is there should be some way to quickly find your emergency contacts and information in your wallet or on your cell phone. For the last several years, they have suggested you make a listing for ‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency) with your primary contact’s information listed.

The smartphone version of this is one of several programs that let you put all of your emergency information in one place, contact people from within the app, and offer tools to make it easy for emergency personnel to find and activate the app even when the phone is locked (as shown on the illustration above). ICE: In Case of Emergency from Appventive is the tool I use for this purpose.

App on my home screen (Beautiful Widgets, Launcher Pro, and Symphony of Colors wallpaper)

ICE: In Case of Emergency can be opened in a couple of ways, including from a  widget on the lock screen.  Its simple display has a menu down the left side and your information on the right. The categories are:

  • ‘Instructions’ which mentions your name, lets you choose the language (as a rescuer), quickly tells how to use the program, and offers a place for a note, like that you are an organ donor.
  • “Who to Call’ lets you select several people who can be called in an emergency  by just tapping their name. You can also add relationships.
  • ‘ID and Insurance’ packs a lot on one screen – a photo and personal information, entries for your insurance, and entries for your doctor(s). These can be imported from your contacts list in just a couple clicks.
  • ‘Allergies’, ‘Conditions’, and ‘Medications’ all hold additional helpful information, including things like RX numbers for your medications.
Main screen
Settings screen

The program can back data up to or restore from the SD card, but I have noticed that rooting the phone seems to erase it which in my mind defeats at least some of the value of backing it up. Most of the data entry is straightforward enough. The settings allow you a lot of control – widget on the lock screen, ‘if lost, contact’ info on the lock screen, etc.

I tried a few other similar programs about eight months ago and like this one the best, even though at $3.99 it is one of the more expensive and has a few things I would like to see changed. For example, I would rather it be a cloud app that I could access from several platforms (possibly linked to the Google Health program which I like but is not quite ready for prime time), and/or a more robust back-up/restore feature that survived rooting.

In this case, I am not pitching the specific app so much as encouraging you to think about setting up something like this on your phone.  I would be interested in your choices in this category!


Product Information

Retailer:Android Market
  • Android 1.5 or newer
  • Easy to use
  • Well laid out
  • Back-ups do not survive rooting

6 thoughts on “My Android Apps – ICE: In Case of Emergency Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Cool app! It’s a good idea. My only concern would be whether emergency personnel would be fiddling with your phone at all. I am not in the medical field, but from what I’ve heard from EMTs on running sites, they recommend using something like RoadID for true emergency information. EMTs are trained to check for medical alert jewelry, but not to go through your pockets or check your wallet, etc.

    The hospital staff will do that, and this app would be helpful for them. But based on what I’ve read, if you have something that a first responder MUST know about you (low heart rate, diabetes, etc) you want that to be on a bracelet where they’ll definitely see it, since their first priority is going to be saving your life, not checking your phone for instructions first.

  3. Great point about the ID jewelery. I mention that in my CPR classes (“if you have a significant medical issue, wear easy to see and recognize alert jewelery”) but did not mention it in the article.

    Also, while paramedics generally will not fiddle with your phone, the police often do- if only to find someone to call for you.

    Maybe we should find some emergency people to help write a guide on emergency ID and info?

  4. Hi – as a former EMT & Paramedic I agree with comments on Medic Alert tags and the RoadID. If you take a medication or have any kind of significant medical condition then GET ONE NOW.

    I personally like the idea of the phone app, but here is my problem with them…

    If you keep your phone locked (passcode, swipe pattern, etc) then how is anyone going to access your emergency info? My 13 year old pointed this out to me and i kinda went “Ummmmm…” I have had one of these apps installed for years, first on my iPhone and now on my Android phone. I recently took it off.

    SOMEONE needs to design one of these apps that is available directly from the Android/iOS/BBerry lock screen.

    THAT – combined with adding it to CPR/Emergency services training might then make a difference.

  5. Whoops – I guess I missed that point in the review, most of the apps like this I have seen do not have the lock screen function. Well done Appvantive.

  6. I should have hit that point harder, but you are right- no app or widget on the lockscreen = worthless in a real emergency.

  7. The ICE Tag was designed exactly for this reason. By having I.C.E. in your phone as well as an I.C.E. Tag, you are doubling the probability of responders seeing it and your loved ones being notified promptly.

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