safeRecently Rotorblog posted about Social Media Tools that Save Lives.

Because cell phones have become equipped to do so much more than simply call or text, we’re exploring some of the various ways cell phone users can maximize the potential of their phones. An often overlooked category is safety because vigilance tends to happen *after* an event, so take a moment and look into these 10 apps and find new ways to use your phone…

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
The Life360 Google Android app was born from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and is an emergency preparedness tool for families that “in less than five minutes, families can have access to a tool that does everything from family GPS tracking, to document warehousing, disaster planning, and emergency messaging.”

Rave Alert calls themselves the “next generation alerting system” for mass emergencies and is employed in places like colleges or apartment communities to alert a large group at one time via text messaging, email, PA system, Facebook and even via Twitter. It is being adopted most quickly by colleges and high schools in this post-Virginia Tech era.

DRIVING
Cell phone app MotoRiety monitors driver distractions from text messages to phone calls and reports all phone activity, even tweeting about driver behavior while driving. Aggressive acceleration, miles and idle time is logged and provided in periodic email reports making this tool perfect for parents of teen drivers.

Playsafe is an iPhone app that makes scrolling for music safer and less distracting. The app turns the iPhone into a large button so users don’t have to scroll through small icons while driving and tapping the screen will play or pause music while swiping to the left or right will change the track.

SAFETY ALERTS
Safety Button is a simple iPhone app that allows users to start the program, push the big red button and it begins tracing the user’s step and reporting to a server. If the red button is pressed again (in case of distress), the server will send your emergency contact person a panic message containing your position.

Android application SafetyNet is activated when the phone is shaken and can function in panic mode or medical mode even if the app isn’t running which will immediately alert everyone in your “SafetyNet” sending them your position and a distress call. SafetyNet is ideal for people with medical issues or lone joggers.

FIRST AID
iPhone offers two applications for your iPhone- First Aid for Infants and First Aid for Children, both containing easy to read instructions on topics from protection to blocked airways to CPR and other emergencies. This app is ideal for parent, babysitters, teachers and more.

MEDICINAL USES
AT&T developed app, MedNet allows heart patients to send data from their heart monitors to Bluetooth enabled phones (on AT&T) and then on to their cardiologist making heart care more interactive. Heart monitor data interactivity is a great preventative measure.

Although not available on the market yet, we wanted to share a glimpse of the future with you. U.C. Berkeley is developing and testing a program called Cellscope which is a microscope connected to a cell phone for diagnostics (think doctors in remote areas like a desert, mountaintop or even space). It can be used “for bright field microscopy, which uses simple white light–such as from a bulb or sunlight–to illuminate samples. The latest development adds to the repertoire fluorescent microscopy, in which a special dye emits a specific fluorescent wavelength to tag a target–such as a parasite, bacteria or cell–in the sample.” It’s powerful enough to detect malaria, tuberculosis or even sickle cells. Wow.

Are you currently using any mobile apps that promote safety? Which of these work with your phone and will you be downloading any of the above? Let us know in comments!