Send medical and panic alerts using the OnCall Defender iPhone app

Aug 17, 2010
Tech

OnCall Defender attempts to make emergency situations more manageable using a simple alert system that could make the difference in saving a life, just as long as the shock of price doesn’t make you call for help. The OnCall Defender app is a free app, but it’s part of a larger pay service. The app […]

OnCall Defender attempts to make emergency situations more manageable using a simple alert system that could make the difference in saving a life, just as long as the shock of price doesn’t make you call for help.

The OnCall Defender app is a free app, but it’s part of a larger pay service. The app is essential to the service, providing you with the ability to tap your iPhone screen and instantly be connected to a system that will provide either medical or police aid, depending on the request. You should be aware that there’s also a monthly fee associated with this service and payment is required before service activation.

The price you’ll pay per month depends on how much coverage you’re looking for. The combo panic alarm and medical alarm service is $19.99, if you pay on a month-to-month basis, or you’ll see a slight price drop to $11.99 a month, if you opt to pay for a year at a time.

The panic alarm coverage alone costs $6.99 a month for the year, or $11.99 if you choose the month-to-month option, while just the medical alert costs $9.99 a month for the year, or $16.99, if you choose to pay month-to-month.

On the app, these alerts display as separate buttons on the north and south ends of the app’s main screen; the panic alarm in red and the medical alert in blue. Tapping either button three times repeatedly starts the connection to OnCall’s servers, where the appropriate authorities then receive your stored profile information and GPS coordinates.

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OnCall Defender seems well designed and certainly well intentioned, but if the price still makes you wary, you can try the app’s “Demo Mode” to see just how it would work if you needed to use it. Of course, during the demo mode you won’t actually be calling an EMT when you hit the medical alert button, but it does give you a more thorough understanding of how the alarm sounds and how easy it is to tap the buttons to trigger the alerts.

The demo mode is a great feature that I’d like to see more of, especially in a productivity app. Certainly, it makes sense when the app is already free, but there are some utilities and games that can run on the pricier side, and a sneak peak would go a long way toward attracting potential new customers.

As for OnCall Defender itself, this is a worthy app if you’re looking for something to make calling for emergency personnel a bit easier, though it seems like it should stay out of the hands of irresponsible kids who would have a hard time resisting the allure of a red button to summon an EMT, at least once or twice.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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