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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March 28, 2013 | by

Saving Lives with an App

Mobile app notifies registrants when CPR is needed

Chief PriceRichard Price had an idea that grew into a smartphone application, and then a foundation, that may very well change the way EMS responds to cardiac arrest calls. The idea will certainly save lives, and it all started at a deli over a pastrami and rye.

Birth of an App
“I was out to lunch and was sitting in a deli with a few other people when I heard sirens in the distance,” Price says. “The sirens got louder, and then they pulled up right in front of the deli where I was eating.”

It turned out that the EMS crews were responding to a cardiac arrest call in the building next door. “If I had known, I could have made a difference. I know CPR and I have an AED in my car,” Price says. The event made him think about his smartphone and how the device knew his location and could tell someone else. “The idea came that we could possibly notify someone who was nearby an event using his or her phone,” he says.

That was three years ago, and the result of that event, and Price’s subsequent idea, has been the creation of PulsePoint, which was launched in 2012. Though the technology is sophisticated, taking hundreds of hours and many people to bring the idea to fruition, the actual PulsePoint app is simple. Users who are trained in CPR and have registered with the system as willing to assist in an emergency cardiac arrest situation will be notified on their smartphone if someone nearby is having a cardiac arrest.

Read the full article by Cynthia Kincaid on JEMS.

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June 5, 2012 | by

“Heart of Gold” Award Presented to Chief Price

After receiving the 2012 “Heart of Gold” award from Jill DiGiacomo, Executive Director for the American Heart Association, Fire Chief and PulsePoint President Richard Price delivered these comments on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the Wente Vineyards Gala in Livermore, California.

Chief Price addresses guests at AHA Heart of Gold Ball

Chief Price addresses guests at the Heart of Gold Ball

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the American Heart Association Board of Directors and to the Heart of Gold Nominating Committee for selecting me for this honor tonight.

I would also like to congratulate Dr. Khan, my co-honoree this evening, for his well-deserved recognition.

I would like to thank my wonderful wife Lisa, who runs our household everyday, so that I can be the community’s 24/7 Fire Chief, while still squeezing in a little foundation work each evening – and occasional weekend.

My beautiful 9-year old daughter Halle is here tonight. At $500 a plate, I told her she would probably be the only kid here, and that looks to be true. I’m certain that this is the first time she has been served Filet Mignon and a glass Cabernet Sauvignon. Hang in there little girl, we’re almost done. And I’m surrounded tonight with more of my family and friends including my parents, Richard and Sallie Price.

1,000 Americans die every day from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, making it the leading cause of death in the U.S. But many of these deaths could be prevented if CPR was initiated, and an AED was deployed, in the first few minutes after an arrest. Over the past 50 years, 300M people have been trained in CPR, yet today, CPR is only performed in about 25% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases. And publicly available AED’s, the ones you see in airports, schools and other places of assembly, are retrieved and used only 1% or 2% of the time when available – primarily because lay rescuers don’t think about them, and don’t know where to find them.

Without intervention, a cardiac arrest victim has only about 10 minutes to live. But as we have heard tonight CPR suspends time, essentially stopping that 10-minute clock, and sustains life until more advanced care can arrive. So after 10 minutes you have no chance of survival; and brain damage begins several minutes before that. To put that into context consider the paramedic response time, right now, to this facility is about eight minutes. Not much room for error. This excruciatingly short window of opportunity is exactly why most people do not survive a sudden cardiac arrest. Today, more than ever, citizens helping citizens is the only way for the Chain of Survival to truly work. Local government response times are not improving in this economy – if anything they are getting worse.

Instead of relying on fate to place a CPR-trained citizen in the exact location needed at the exact time needed, the PulsePoint app is used to dispatch nearby CPR-trained citizens simultaneously with the dispatch of local paramedics, so CPR can begin immediately. The app also directs these citizens, with a live map, to the nearest AED.

This video tribute produced by was played before Chief Price was invited to the stage.

In the Greater Bay Area we have some of the finest cardiac care facilities in the world. But if patients arrive at these hospitals already dead, our best doctors and our latest procedures have no opportunity to make any difference at all. So therein lies the promise of the PulsePoint App – to deliver patients that are still alive, so they can benefit from all the innovation and interventions that are available to cardiac patients today.

The PulsePoint Foundation has a talented and diverse board of directors drawn from public safety, tech, medicine and finance. It includes Dave Duffield from Workday who’s engineering team built the enterprise-class PulsePoint service for the foundation; Dr. Ben Bobrow, Medical Director for the State of Arizona who is also the Chair of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Subcommittee; and Don Ledoux, with Summit Financial, who is here tonight representing the PulsePoint board.

The mission of the foundation is to extend the reach of the app around the globe and to do that at no cost to the implementing fire or EMS agency. If you would like to join us in this mission please reach out to me. We need your help.

Events like this are a tremendous amount of work and require the combined efforts of many people, including many volunteers. This is a very special night for my family and I, and we thank everyone that had a hand in bringing us together for this important cause. I believe the PulsePoint app represents a revolutionary step forward in cardiac arrest survival and I’m thrilled to be here tonight sharing that vision with an audience that also holds a very strong commitment to that goal.

Thank you.”

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February 12, 2012 | by

Workday Recognition

With the PulsePoint multi-jursidiction Android app now in the Android Market and the new PulsePoint multi-jursidiction iOS app submitted to the Apple App Store for approval, the PulsePoint Foundation hosted a luncheon at Workday Headquarters in Pleasanton, California last week to recognize the amazing volunteer force that helped bring these apps and universal interface to reality.

PulsePoint Award of Appreciation

PulsePoint Award of Appreciation

The life-saving PulsePoint solution is available at no cost to participating agencies largely due to the individual effort of many generous and compassionate people coming together for the common good. Hats off to the following workday volunteers recognized at this event: Aneel Bhusri, Michael Bonadio, Jason Boyle, Attila Bukta, Scot Campbell, Nick Cooper, Petros Dermetzis, Dave Duffield, Dwight Holman, Howard Klein, Joe Korngiebel, Frank Law, Rory Martin, John McGlone, Girish Reddy, Jon Ruggiero, Jay Schultz, Raul da Silva and Stan Zilberleyb.

The award text included, “For your commitment and dedication to saving the lives of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims through the development of the PulsePoint application and services.”

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February 7, 2012 | by

Media Advisory – San José Fire Department and El Camino Hospital unveil free, lifesaving CPR mobile phone app to San José community

SAN JOSE, Calif. – In conjunction with Valentine’s Day, San José community leaders are launching PulsePoint, a free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) “citizen first responder” mobile phone application (app). This new app is designed to help CPR-trained users in the San José Fire Department service area provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

News conference to announce new lifesaving CPR mobile phone app to the San Jose community

San José Mayor Chuck Reed
San José Fire Chief William McDonald
PulsePoint President/San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price
President and CEO of El Camino Hospital Tomi Ryba
Dave Duffield, co-founder/co-CEO Workday

Tuesday, February 14 from 1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

San José City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Santa Clara Street

The San José Fire Department, through funding from El Camino Hospital, is now able to provide the free PulsePoint app to the San José Fire Department service area. Available for both the iPhone and Android smartphones, PulsePoint gives the public the ability to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest which causes nearly 1,000 deaths a day in the United States. App users, who have indicated they are trained in CPR, can be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the app, using sophisticated location-based services, will alert those in the vicinity of the need for CPR. The application also directs citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Captain Mary Gutierrez
Public Information Officer
Office (408) 794-6959
Cell (408) 398-9228

Chris Ernst
El Camino Hospital
Office (650) 962-5853


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January 18, 2012 | by

Citizen Superheroes Now Equipped with Android Devices

Lifesaving app now available in the Android Market

Android Screen ImagePLEASANTON, CA – The PulsePoint Foundation is proud to announce the release of the Android version of its life‐saving mobile app that crowd‐sources Good Samaritans to events where the potential need for bystander CPR is high. The iPhone version of the app was released in January 2011 by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. The PulsePoint Foundation is the new nonprofit organization taking the reins from the Fire District to guide, enhance and expand the reach of the app worldwide.

“We are very pleased to be extending the reach of the application to Android devices and users,” said Richard Price, President of the PulsePoint Foundation and Fire Chief for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. “With nearly 1,000 deaths a day directly attributed to Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the time for this app is now.”

The foundation turned to Workday, Inc. ( to encourage its employees to volunteer to design and build the Android version along with a multijurisdictional, multi‐client infrastructure that could handle the worldwide interest in the app. The app was developed solely by volunteers from Workday’s development team. “Workday believes strongly in the mission of the foundation and is pleased that several of its employees donated their own time to lend a hand in this important initiative to improve the outcomes for victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest,” said Petros Dermetzis, Vice President of Development at Workday. “We are very proud and appreciative of the Workday employees who raised their hands to help others with this project.”

The PulsePoint app (previously the FireDepartment app) is now available at no cost in the Android Market. Android users can now simply visit the Market and search for “PulsePoint” to download the app, (the PulsePoint App requires the Android operating system of 2.2 or greater). Once the app is loaded into the phone users can volunteer to be notified if someone nearby is in need of CPR by selecting the CPR notification option.

The application has received several international awards including the International Association of Fire Chiefs 2011 Fire Service Award for Excellence, a CTIA-The Wireless Association 2011 VITA Wireless Samaritan Award, a 2011 Computerworld Honors Program Laureate Award for Innovation, an American Heart Association Life Saver Heart Partner Award, and an IADAS Webby Official Honoree award for the Best Use of GPS or Location Technology. The Public Service Announcement designed to promote awareness and adoption of the application also received two Telly Awards.

The foundation is guided by an Advisory Board made up of visionaries in the tech and medical industries, including Dr. Ben Bobrow of the Arizona Department of Health Services, Co‐Founder and Co‐CEO Dave Duffield of Workday, CIO Tim Ferguson of Northern Kentucky University, CEO Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, and President Jack Parow of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

PulsePoint is a registered 501(c)(3) non‐profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose goal is to make it much easier for citizens who are certified 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 Fire Departments, EMS agencies, and Police Departments to improve communications with citizens and empower them to reduce worldwide sudden cardiac arrest deaths.

Note to Editors
For additional web and print resources related to the app including sample screen shots, supporting images and video, please visit the PulsePoint Foundation website at

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July 8, 2011 | by

PulsePoint Foundation Begins Work to Extend Reach of Lifesaving Fire Department Mobile Phone App

SAN RAMON, CA – The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is proud to announce the formation of the PulsePoint Foundation. The new nonprofit organization has been established to guide, enhance and expand the reach of the Fire Department CPR notification app released earlier this year. The Fire Department app empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. “The app crowd-sources Good Samaritans to events where the potential need for bystander CPR is high,” said Fire Chief Richard Price. “The vital work of the PulsePoint Foundation has already begun,” added Price. “PulsePoint is set to begin partnering with nearly two hundred fire and EMS agencies that have expressed interest in deploying the application in their communities.”

Although the application was pioneered and tested in the San Ramon Valley, the Fire District has always been anxious to share its life saving potential. Forming an independent and external foundation to distribute and support the application will help facilitate and speed adoption by other communities.

Intergraph Corporation, a leading Computer-aided Dispatch system vendor, has announced plans to offer the PulsePoint solution to all its accounts – which together cover one in twelve people worldwide. “Intergraph is proud to partner with the PulsePoint Foundation to facilitate this life-saving technology. The combination of PulsePoint’s CPR application and Intergraph’s global leadership in public safety solutions is a perfect match to achieve the ultimate objective of protecting lives,” said Jay Stinson, VP & General Manager, Intergraph Public Safety.

The PulsePoint Foundation will be guided by an Advisory Board made up of visionaries in the tech and medical industries, including Dr. Ben Bobrow of the Arizona Department of Health Services, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Dave Duffield of Workday, CIO Tim Ferguson of Northern Kentucky University, CEO Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, and President Jack Parow of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The Board also includes a list of influential community leaders and business professionals including Bill Coy, Leadership Practice Director of La Piana Consulting, Petros Dermetzis, VP of Development at Workday, Joe Farrell, CEO of Redwood Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Don Ledoux, Partner at Summit Financial Group, David Rice, President of the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, and Matt Stamey, Director at the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. The board has recruited Richard Price, Fire Chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, to serve as the Foundation’s president.

The application has received several international awards including the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) 2011 VITA Wireless Samaritan Award, a 2011 Computerworld Honors Program Laureate Award for Innovation, an American Heart Association Life Saver Heart Partner Award, and an IADAS Webby Official Honoree award for the Best Use of GPS or Location Technology. The Public Service Announcement designed to promote awareness and adoption of the application also received two Telly Awards.

The potential of the application also caught the attention of some of the country’s leading resuscitation experts, including partners of The HeartRescue Project, a five-state effort funded by the Medtronic Foundation designed to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.

“We know that improved survivor rates begin with improved bystander response,” says Dr. Michael Sayre, an associate professor of emergency medicine at The Ohio State University and the HeartRescue Project medical director. “By taking advantage of advances in mobile technology, we can bring nearby lifesavers right to the scene to begin CPR, saving precious seconds.” One of the first states planning to deploy the application is Arizona, a HeartRescue Project participant.

Both the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District and Northern Kentucky University and its College of Informatics have generously donated all rights from their original work on the application to the foundation for the benefit of society.

“Collaboration with the PulsePoint Foundation perfectly aligns with Northern Kentucky University’s community outreach mission. This innovative technology has true potential to change and save lives and we are proud to be part of such an initiative,” said James Votruba, President of NKU.

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