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History of ICE

In case of emergency (ICE) program was conceived in mid-2000s and promoted by British paramedic Bob Brotchie. The objective was to encourage users to specify their emergency contacts in their cell phone address book under the name of "ICE", and list multiple emergency contacts as "ICE1", "ICE2", etc.

On July 12, 2005, on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Bob Brotchie stated:
"I was reflecting on some difficult calls I've attended, where people were unable to speak to me through injury or illness and we were unable to find out who they were. I discovered that many people, obviously, carry mobile phones and we were using them to discover who they were. It occurred to me that if we had a uniform approach to searching inside a mobile phone for an emergency contact then that would make it easier for everyone."
Their intent was to notify the family members of the victim. Though this appears to be valuable, it has several severe limitations, like:
  • Phone may be rendered inoperational by the impact that caused the emergency
  • Emergency may have occurred outside the wireless network coverage area
  • Communication barrier imposed by linguistic accents on two sides
  • Phone call may not get answered by the identified contact
  • Call recipient may be shocked hearing the news
During an emergency, every second counts. Primary goal is to help the victim survive. First Responders working on scene are stressed and do not have time to make calls, unless it is to a medical authority. With critical health information on mobile phone, ICEcare enables them to provide informed care. This helps expedite recovery and minimizes potential side effects for the victim.
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