Amy Schatz,

August 24, 2014 | by

Life Saving Crowdsourcing App Expands Reach To Stop Cardiac Arrests

Recode LogoOff-duty firefighter Scott Brawner was working out in a suburban Portland gym this spring, listening to Pandora, when suddenly the music stopped.

An app on his phone warned him that someone nearby needed CPR. Brawner reportedly raced around the gym, trying to find the victim before heading to the parking lot, where he saw a man sprawled on the pavement. He began giving the man CPR until fire and rescue units showed up.

The man’s survival wasn’t just a blessing for his family, it was a huge victory for the PulsePoint Foundation, a Bay Area non-profit whose app is making it easier to alert CPR-trained people that someone nearby needs help.

Crowdsourcing has been used for everything from political campaigns to potato salad, but PulsePoint’s app represents the first time it has been used on a wide-scale to help save dying people in cardiac arrest. Victims have very little time – generally ten minutes or under – to receive CPR before they either lose brain functions or die.

PulsePoint’s free app connects to local 911 call centers and alerts users when there is someone nearby in need of CPR. PulsePoint users get an alert the same time as local emergency responders.

It also shows the location of the closest automatic defibrillator (if there is one nearby) as well as a reminder about how to do CPR, just in case the user has an adrenaline-induced brain-freeze. A related PulsePoint app is trying to get people to crowdsource the locations of automatic defibrillators so volunteers will know where to find them.

“As a fire chief I was always focused on response times. Trying to get help to people faster,” said Richard Price, a former San Ramon Valley Fire Department chief, who is the force behind the app and the non-profit foundation that oversees it. Crowdsourcing volunteer CPR-trained volunteers “is a very efficient, low-cost way of making an impact.”

Price came up with the idea for the app five years ago after a disturbing incident one day while eating a sandwich.

He was at a local deli when he heard sirens, Price remembers. Emergency vehicles pulled up and he rushed outside to see what was going on. A man in a shop next door had collapsed and emergency responders were unable to revive him.

“He was on the other side of the wall, I couldn’t see him,” Price says. “He lay there unconscious with no one doing CPR. I had a (automated defibrillator) nearby in my vehicle.”

Although the iPhone had been introduced a few years before, apps that took advantage of location-based information were only starting to be developed.

“It just struck me that we could have off-duty professionals – police, firefighters, nurses and all the CPR trained citizens – who had to be in the exact right place at the right time,” he said. “We have these phones now. Could we use someone’s phone to determine their locations…give them the same capabilities as first responders?”

Price’s fire department had little money to spend on the project. He says he talked to developers around the Bay Area but couldn’t find anyone who would help them for the right price. He eventually connected with a computer science program at Northern Kentucky University, which required students to develop a working app as a graduation requirement.

A group of students created a working prototype “at almost no cost,” Price says. They tested the app in the San Ramon area and eventually found support from PeopleSoft co-founder David Duffield, whose enterprise cloud applications company WorkDay, volunteered to take over. The company still volunteers engineering time to develop and maintain the technology.

The PulsePoint Foundation was created in 2011, which holds all of the intellectual property for the app, as well as funding from WorkDay and other groups to help expand the app’s reach. The foundation also partnered with Physio-Control, a medical device developer specializing in automated defibrillators, to market the app technology.

Los Angeles County began using the system earlier this month, joining about 700 local communities in 20 states which have connected the technology to their 911 call centers. Another 200 communities are in the process of adding the service, Price says, which generally costs about $5,000 a year.

View the full story by Amy Schatz at Re/code.

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Healthline Logo

June 21, 2014 | by

PulsePoint Named a Top Heart Disease App of the Year

best-apps-badge-2014-heart-disease-375px Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a life-saving tool if someone nearby goes into cardiac arrest. PulsePoint is a one-of-a-kind app that matches those in need with those who can help instantly.

Location-based services allow users who are trained in CPR provide assistance to someone experiencing a cardiac event. If you’re signed up as a provider, you’ll get an alert when someone in your area needs emergency CPR.

See the winners at Healthline.

Written by Erica Roth. Winners selected by Tracy Rosecrans. Medically Reviewed on May 19, 2014 by Kenneth R. Hirsch, MD

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February 16, 2014 | by

Apps That Could Save Your Life

Technology is making it easy for strangers to save the day or even for you to keep the kiddos from catching the crud. You’re already carrying a medical device and it’s a smartphone full of life-saving apps.

First, turning everyday citizens into superheroes, the PulsePoint App notifies CPR Certified users if someone nearby, is having a cardiac emergency. The app also pinpoints the nearest defibrillator. Without one, the chances of survival for cardiac patients, decreases 10 percent each minute. The PulsePoint App is free

Next, Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America’s SnoreOMeter gives you information you can use to shame your significant other, but it can also help diagnose a serious underlying issue. Record your snore for up to 30 seconds, including any lapses in breathing, then rate the decibel level. The SnoreOMeter compares your snore to a jackhammer or a blow dryer. You can even put your friends to sleep when you share the results on Facebook. This app is also free.

And, the flu is no joke! Tracking hot zones is easy with the Sickweather App. It scours social media for posts with key words like ‘flu’ and ‘sick’, then lets you know when you’re approaching Sick Town. You can download Sickweather for free in the app store.

Trouble viewing video? Try this link to the original story.

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January 25, 2014 | by

PulsePoint App Helps EMS Save Cardiac Arrest Lives

This week on the show, I thought I would review the PulsePoint app from the PulsePoint Foundation at PulsePoint.org. I’ve interviewed Richard Price from PulsePoint a few times on the MedicCast and featured him last year as an EMS 10 Innovator on the MedicCast TV weekly commentary but I’ve never actually reviewed the app itself.

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App Notifies Bystander CPR Providers

For those of you who don’t know what it is, the PulsePoint app is a mobile app that connects bystander CPR trained individuals to any nearby reported cardiac arrests in a given jurisdiction. It works like this. First a jurisdiction has to sign up to integrate their computer dispatch system with the PulsePoint system.

Then, when a cardiac arrest is reported, not only are EMS, Fire and police crews dispatched, bystanders who have installed the app in the area are also alerted when they’re within about a 1/4 mile of the GPS location reported by the 911 call. It gives them walking directions to the location of the cardiac arrest patient and nearby AEDs.

Early Compressions Key to Saving Life

The goal is to get bystander compressions started as soon as possible, before EMS arrives on the scene, giving the patient the best chance of survival. This system has already saved countless lives and is installed in hundreds of jurisdictions worldwide.

Read the full post and learn more about Jamie Davis at The MedicCast.

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October 8, 2013 | by

The GovLab Living Labs: Experiments in Smarter Governance

GovLab LogoImproving people’s lives by changing how we govern.

Current societal problems demand radical innovation in how we govern. Policy makers around the world are facing increasingly complex and interconnected societal challenges: How can we provide health care for everyone at lower cost; reduce poverty and economic inequality; reduce and prevent obesity; redesign urban environments; fight global warming; combat the threat of terrorism; increase creative flourishing and human well-being and do more in our communities with scarcer resources? Unfortunately, we are trying to address 21st century problems with outdated institutional designs:

  • Technology has lowered the cost and ease of communication, yet we still have an 18th century model of representative democracy where participation is limited to occasional voting and affords few opportunities for people to participate in governing.
  • Technology is enabling diverse experts with different skills and experience to work together, across a distance, yet we still have a 19th century model of centralized and professional bureaucracy.
  • Research demonstrates that people can and will collaborate in purposeful groups on- and off-line, yet we still have a political culture dominated by entrenched parties and deep pockets that treats a talented public as outsiders and impedes collaboration.

In our current model of government, an elite group of elected and appointed leaders is supposed to solve problems without significantly engaging the insights, experience, and brainpower of the public.

We don’t need collaboration because of a shortage of information. We produce every two days more data than we created between the dawn of humanity and today.[i] Rather, we need to engage outside expertise in order to identify relevant, specific and timely information that aligns to decision-making. But citizen engagement hasn’t led to leaders being able to use collective intelligence to govern better.

At the Governance Lab at the Wagner School of Public Service of New York University, we want to explore whether targeting opportunities to participate based on people’s expertise – not their credentials alone but also their wisdom, know-how and experience – might make it possible for institutions to work with citizens more collaboratively to the end of solving real problems, and improving people’s lives.

We are testing and analyzing how mayors and CEOs alike can leverage new tools and techniques to find those with formal training and informal know how. We want to learn how we can engage citizens and community members better who are more likely to contribute their talents in ways that speak to their passions and abilities. Through experimentation with real world institutions we want to identify when and how crowdsourcing wisely, rather than just widely, works and why.

Tapping Intelligence and Expertise: Active Citizenship

A life-saving app called PulsePoint is demonstrating the power of tapping a community’s unique talents. In 350 communities across 14 states, PulsePoint enables local 911 emergency services to notify registered and trained CPR users, which includes off-duty doctors, nurses, EMTs, police, and others, to come to the aid of their neighbors. When someone is having a cardiac arrest, PulsePoint sends out an alert to qualified people in the area: CPR NEEDED. PulsePoint has enabled 6,000 citizen rescuers to come to the aid of victims in cardiac arrest.

Read the full post by Beth Noveck in the GovLab Blog.

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September 30, 2013 | by

PulsePoint app review by appPicker

PulsePoint Homescreen IconIntroduction
PulsePoint is a very interesting app which is designed to empower ordinary people such as you and I with the ability to track medical emergencies as they happen and provide real-time medical assistance to people in our local area who are currently suffering from cardiac arrest.

If you’re trained in CPR then I would definitely suggest downloading this app and keeping it handy on your iPhone because you can set it up to notify you with an alert whenever someone needs help in your local area.
This definitely sounds like a worthy cause to me, and the app itself is very professionally developed so I would please urge you to consider checking it out.

Kickstart My Heart
The tagline for this app is “Enabling Citizen Superheroes,” and that is pretty much what you’ll become if you keep PulsePoint on your iPhone!

When you first start using this app, you’ll want to search in the Agencies section. This can be done either by agency, city, or zip code, and will enable you to find medical emergency services in your area so that you can receive notifications and information relevant to your actual location.

Selecting an agency will provide you with information such as the area it serves and a historical profile. By tapping the Follow button in the top right-hand corner you can receive updates in real time any time there is an emergency callout made by the given agency.

Read the full story by Mark Bangs at appPicker.

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