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June 18, 2014 | by

An App That Turns Everyday Bystanders Into Everyday Heroes

PulsePoint saves lives by improving the way we respond to those in distress.

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesWhen an airplane passenger is in physical distress, the flight attendant calls through the speakers asking if medical professionals are on board. It’s a simple action that can make a huge difference. What if we could mimic this same outreach, 10,000 feet below, everyday on the ground?

That’s exactly what the smart phone app PulsePoint (for download here) makes possible, according to Emergency Management. Using the gadgets we all carry every day, municipalities that use the free mobile service are able to send out alerts to CPR-certified citizens who are nearby someone in need. In many cases, there are just a few minutes between life and death, so every second counts. By quickening response times, this app can help save lives — before an ambulance is even in sight.

PulsePoint doesn’t replace dispatched responders, but as fast as ambulances and emergency medical technicians try to arrive, they’re often not quick enough. Once 9-1-1 is dialed and the available crew is actually with the patient, it can be too late – making those that can arrive quicker a vital resource.

San Jose became the first area city to use PulsePoint in 2012 — the app’s founder and CEO, Richard Price, is from the area, having worked as an ex-fire chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. Since then, it’s caught on thanks to support from a local hospital and the results it provides. A local hospital is also planning a public registry of automated defibrillators through a new, related app, PulsePoint AED.

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With decreasing local budgets for emergency response, increasing populations and traffic congestion, the demand for innovations like PulsePoint is greater than ever. By alerting off-duty first responders, medical professionals, and other CPR certified individuals of a nearby need, PulsePoint turns them into valuable lifesavers, all with the tap of a phone, making the app early — and effective — when time means everything.

View the full story by Harrison Potter at NationSwell.

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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 19, 2013 | by

American Heart Association and Las Vegas FD Teach CPR and PulsePoint to 1,000 at Community Event

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) — Some local experts are teaching people how to save lives Wednesday.

News 3’s Denise Rosch was downtown as tourists and locals were pulled off the street for a mass CPR training session.

This is the American Heart Association’s hands only CPR training.


Click here if video not displaying properly.

A free, 15-minute session designed to teach as many people as possible the simple technique of proper chest compressions.

Melanie Baldwin is living proof, it works. In June her husband performed CPR on her when she collapsed, in full cardiac arrest. Now she’s helping spread the word that the life you save could be someone you love.

“My husband was my traumatized than I was, because you want to be able to help, you don’t want to feel helpless,” Baldwin said.

According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

But immediate CPR can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival. Exactly what this event is all about.

The goal was to teach 1,000 people this simple procedure in the next five days and ask them, to turn around and teach someone else.

There is also an app for this.

“Your phone will send you an alert you’re within 200 yards of where somebody needs CPR,” said Chief Wille McDonald of Las Vegas Fire.

It’s called Pulse point and is free through iTunes. Las Vegas Fire Chief Willie McDonald says you can monitor fire calls right from your smartphone.

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September 9, 2013 | by

PulsePoint Foundation Announces Significant Usability Enhancements in Latest Release

New app version includes most requested features within a completely redesigned user interface

PulsePoint App LVFRLAS VEGAS (September 9, 2013) – At EMS World today the PulsePoint Foundation debuted a completely redesigned and extended version of its revolutionary CPR/AED “citizen responder” mobile phone application. The PulsePoint app enables members of the public to provide immediate life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest while professional responders are making their way to the scene.

“After calling 911, getting CPR started and applying an AED are the critical first steps in Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival,” said Richard Price, President of the PulsePoint Foundation. “In most cases no one is in a better position to positively affect the outcome of a cardiac arrest than nearby CPR/AED trained citizens.” The PulsePoint app has been activated on 1,500 actual cardiac emergencies informing nearly 6,000 nearby citizen rescuers. More than 350 communities across 14 states have enabled citizen response through PulsePoint with most computer-aided dispatch systems now supported. 75,000 people carry the PulsePoint app on their smartphone.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 325,000 deaths each year. “Today we are thrilled to announce the availability of the remarkable PulsePoint app to our 610,000 residents and several million annual visitors,” said William McDonald, Fire Chief for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue. “Empowering our citizens to help save lives in partnership with our organization is extremely satisfying.”

The highly anticipated release includes significant usability enhancements implemented within a beautiful new user interface. As with the previous release, the application was written by an all-volunteer engineering team from Workday, Inc. The announcement today is for the iOS version of the application. An update to the Android version will follow in the near future.

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area committed to making it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life saving skills to do just that… save lives! Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. For more information visit PulsePoint.org

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September 7, 2013 | by

Open Data: Give us PulsePoint

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In May at CityCamp NC, the Keynote speaker – Adriel Hampton, VP of Community at NationBuilder introduced us to PulsePoint. I am part of a team that wants to bring PulsePoint to the Triangle (See Article).

This seemed to be so easy! The App is available, the foundation exists to support the app long term so all we need to do is to hook into it and turn it on, right? The members of the team have been making contacts and finding out lots of information. 3 months have passed and we don’t seem to be closer to the goal.

The Triangle is Complex

Rolling out the App in one city requires one Emergency Dispatch service and one municipality to get behind the effort. The Triangle is composed of multiple Counties, Municipalities and Emergency Dispatch Centers.

The municipal boundaries in the Triangle are not so clear to its residents. We may live in Raleigh, work in Morrisville, eat in Durham and attend a sporting event in Cary, all in one day (well maybe, but you get the idea). So everyone needs to be on board to bring PulsePoint to the Triangle.

Our ecosystem is ripe for PulsePoint. The Triangle is full of people who are civically minded. Lots of us are CPR trained and want to help. Many municipalities and counties have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) inventory as part of their strategic plans. How cool would it be to leverage the Technology we carry constantly and help to save lives!

Read the full story by Ian Henshaw at Technology Tank.

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March 30, 2013 | by

Can a mobile app save lives? Yes it can.

Over the last year I have had the privilege of working with a fair amount of health organizations wishing to enter the digital realm. As a result, I have performed quite a bit of research and literature review on the applicability of social media engagement and mobile technology in the public health field. The opportunities are of course tremendous, and most of the risks can be effectively mitigated through education/training as numerous proactive health organizations have demonstrated to date.

What I wanted to share in this post however, is the single most powerful example of mobile health utility that I have come across in my research to date. This app from the PulsePoint Foundation leverages crowdsourcing, geo-location (GPS), push-messaging, maps and social integration, all for one simple purpose, to save lives. I think every municipal EMS should eventually be integrated into something like this. Enjoy.

From Mike Kujawski’s blog on government, association and non-profit marketing in a Web 2.0 world.

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February 21, 2013 | by

Gov on the Go: Boosting Public Sector Productivity by Going Mobile

Governments have been less effective than the private sector in using information technology to reinvent work processes. Now, mobile technology offers an opportunity to hit the reset button, giving government the chance to redesign its business model by leveraging the power of individual citizens as co-creators.

ConstitutionMobile technology, a very powerful productivity booster, offers the public sector a chance to hit the reset button. It can not only improve internal communications and access to information within public agencies, but also enable the government to fully redesign service delivery by leveraging the power of citizens as co-creators. Mobile presents the government with a unique opportunity to drive efficiency and productivity and—at the same time—create vast improvements in the services it provides citizens. Our analysis shows that if mobile adoption rates in government were to double to 70 percent, additional value generated (in terms of government output) could exceed $50 billion annually.

Co-creation and co-production: Citizens as the solution.
Mobile technology allows governance to shift from one-way service delivery to a more collaborative, co-designed, and co-created model. As citizens come to play a more active role rather than being passive recipients, public service delivery can be transformed. Greater emphasis on creating solutions with citizens rather than just for them improves not just service delivery, but also the way the government approaches a problem. In San Jose, the PulsePoint mobile app—via sophisticated location-based services—alerts qualified citizens in a public place of the need for CPR. With the help of technology and citizen rescuers, governments can deliver effective emergency response without devoting significant new resources.

The except above is from William D. Eggers’ and Joshua Jaffe’s new Deloitte study, “Gov on the Go: Boosting Public Sector Productivity by Going Mobile” which features the PulsePoint app.

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October 10, 2012 | by

Transforming Government Through Location Intelligence

Map with PinWhen location data is coupled with existing government data and expertise, every point on the map can provide historical and predictive perspective to inform complex policy decisions. The map itself has been transformed from a static picture to a living platform for shared decision making and real-time collaboration, focusing the energy of the crowd and empowering government and citizens to work together to respond quickly to challenges at any scale. Thinking about service delivery through the lens of location-based technologies can help agencies make smarter decisions about investments in physical infrastructure.

In some ways, this future has already arrived. For someone suffering from cardiac arrest, minutes can mean the difference between life and death, and emergency medical crews can’t always get there immediately. PulsePoint is a mobile app that connects heart attack-related 911 calls with individuals nearby who are certified in CPR to provide immediate assistance until an ambulance can arrive.

Read the full GovLab Study on transforming government through location intelligence by Deloitte Consulting, LLC.

GovLab is a think tank in the Federal practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP that focuses on innovation in the public sector.

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