Claire writes on behalf of Printerpix Review, a personalised photo product company. Claire works in marketing but loves to write in her spare time. Follow her on twitter.

There is much more to android apps than great games. Mobile technology is the way forward in reaching millions of people with free lifesaving information. You may not have realized it, but your portable device has actually got in its power the ability to save your life several times over. Here is a look at this year’s five best life-saving apps. Whether it’s through counting the calories or brushing up your first aid skills, do you dare go without them?

Pocket CPR

Launched in tandem with their recent TV commercial, The British Heart Foundation’s free android app explains how to carry out hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation – that’s CPR to you and me. It shows you how to keep someone’s heart pumping if they have suffered a cardiac arrest, using hard and fast chest compressions. The app also helps you to practice your technique using the accelerometer hardware that’s inbuilt into most smartphones. What this means is that your android can measure the speed and depth of your practice compressions – whether you’re going at the right rate and intensity in order to keep someone alive.

1

Self-check for symptoms

The BreastAware app was created by Action Cancer, a Northern Ireland charity, to help promote the importance of breast screening. It’s designed to increase early detection and help allay fears about breast examinations. The app features videos to show you how to check yourself for symptoms and takes you through what a standard mammogram involves. It also includes easy-to-follow lifestyle advice to help decrease the risk of breast cancer. There’s a reminder facility that tells you when and how to check for symptoms plus a push-button appointment booker for check-ups, counselling and complementary therapy sessions.

2

St John Ambulance

Get free first aid advice at your fingertips with the St John Ambulance First Aid app. It provides easy-to-follow advice on both minor and major emergencies that’s designed to be clear enough to use both at leisure and when the pressure is really on. It covers incidents such as choking, cardiac arrest and bleeding with simple instructions on what to do if you need to perform first aid. The effectiveness of this app cannot be underestimated, as proven in the recent case of a mother who saved her baby’s life thanks to the information she had previously read on the app.

3

Symptom spotter

Around 3,400 people in the UK contract bacterial meningitis every year. Knowing the signs to look out for is a key way to reduce the impact of this horrific disease and help save lives. The free app from the Meningitis Research Foundation helps users spot the deadly disease’s symptoms and learn everything they need to know about meningitis. There’s an interactive quiz to test your knowledge plus instructions on what to do if you suspect meningitis along with information on how to get help.

4

Counting the calories

As the UK’s population continues to grow – and just not in terms of the number of people – keeping track of your weight could help to save your life. It’s well-known that being overweight can contribute to several life-threatening diseases and this handy android app helps you control your calorie intake on the go. Livestrong.com’s tracker can help you reach your target weight and manage your fitness goals. The online food journal contains over 600,000 food and restaurant items – most other calorie counting applications contain just 7,000. It’s a brilliant way to help get on top of your diet and reap long-term health benefits.

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