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The American Red Cross, Sharecare, and Dr. Oz have launched a new emergency care app for Android called S.O.S. It’s not exactly a complete step-by-step first aid guide, but if you need quick help diagnosing a medical emergency or providing assistance while you wait for an ambulance to arrive, the app could help.

Much of the advice looks pretty good, and there are prominent links to dial 911 with your phone on pretty much every page, because for many serious injuries that’s probably the first thing you should do. But there are also “give care” links which provide information and videos with more steps you should follow.

The videos are a bit disappointing. For the most part you get slide shows rather than full motion videos. Some slides show pictures while others are text-only. That could make it a little tricky to figure out how to conduct certain actions properly. But given the choice of administering an EpiPen to someone having an allergic reaction with the S.O.S. app or without it, I suppose I’d rather have the app.

The app can also help diagnose some problems, although some of the hints seem a bit obvious. For instance, the first question asks “Is the person breathing?” and the first sign that a person is not breathing is “no breathing.” Obvious, but I suppose it’s important not to leave that little clue out.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...