Apps that could save your life

Susannah Hickling 16 November 2021

There really are apps for everything—and some could end up saving your life 

What3words

This free download is one of a growing number of smartphone apps that could mean the difference between life and death. What3Words divides the world into 3x3 metre squares, giving each one a unique combination of three words. This allows emergency servicesor anyone else you give the location toto reach you.

It is used by the vast majority of emergency services in the UK, not to mention other control centres around the world, and has been credited with saving thousands of lives.

WhatsApp

Lots of us use WhatsApp for messaging and calling, but did you know it also has a Live Location feature that can let a loved one know your whereabouts in case you’re in danger?

You simply press the + key in a chat, select “Location”, and then press “Share Live Location”, which enables any participants in the chat to see your location in real time for the duration you choose.

SkinVision

You will have to pay for this digital skin check app, either on an ad hoc or a subscription basis, but with an estimated fifth of skin cancers going undiagnosed during lockdown, it could be well worth it. You simply take a photo of any suspicious spot or mole with your phone and you’ll then receive a risk indication from SkinVision’s clinically validated technology within 30 seconds.

This might include a recommendation to see a doctor. But don’t rely on an app to reassure youif you’re worried about a skin blemish, go to your GP.

Stay Alive

With mental health problems on the increase, not helped by the pandemic, this suicide prevention app could be extremely helpful. Developed by Grassroots Suicide Prevention, it offers a wealth of resources, ranging from strategies for staying grounded when you feel overwhelmed, to breathing exercises to direct links to national and local crisis resources.

St John Ambulance First Aid

An app like this is more useful for saving someone else’s life than your own, but arguably it’s a must-have on your smartphone. It gives advice in dealing with emergencies, including choking, allergic reactions and performing CPR. You don’t have to have an internet connection in order to use it.

Read more: How to boost your lung power

Read more: How to avoid digital immortality

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