Online emergency medicine is not only at your fingertips, it may be a free service.

Some issues in need of immediate emergency help are glaringly obvious; others are questionable, perhaps falling into a gray zone, and leaving you wondering, "Should I go to the ER for this?"

With the help of these apps, you will get to the bottom of your medical problems in no time. Did I mention without waiting in the ER for a primary care problem such as a potential ear infection?

Tap into the wealth of knowledge available online as recommended in FamilyCircle.

Five best tools for online first aid:

  1. This app has 43,000 doctors and no waiting room. Join for free, communicate in a Twitter-like fashion with character limitations and have your question answered within a day.

  2. This is a fee based program that orders blood work to be drawn at LabCorp; results are found on your health dashboard with detailed explanation. Their moto: "You can't manage what you don't measure."

  3. There's no question where to start with this program; pop ups engage you from the get go. Choose tests, pay, and get your digital lab order. You will be notified when results are available.

  4. This app essentially functions as a free storage tank for your family's medical records. You can sync certain devices with this app such as glucometers and Fitbit devices. HealthVault describes themselves as "a trusted place to gather, store, use and share health information online."

  5. The Washington Post calls Zoc Doc a "revelation." This free app is so cool because you can find a doc (on your insurance plan- hello, amazing!), make your appointment, and also read patient reviews of the provider from the convenience of your phone.