February 15, 2014 | by

App to help heart attack victims

PulsePoint turns anyone into a first responder if there’s a cardiac arrest nearby

Sudden cardiac arrest? There’s an app for that.

Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor for District 5 and Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, representing District 1

Santa Clara County Supervisors Joe Simitian and Mike Wasserman

Health and safety officials from Mountain View and around the county are endorsing the local launch of the PulsePoint system, a mobile app that alerts users when someone nearby is having a heart attack, giving good Samaritans the chance to lend a potentially life-saving hand until emergency responders arrive.

PulsePoint functions as a direct link between individuals and local emergency dispatchers. Starting Feb. 14, the app’s local launch date, 911 dispatch centers in Santa Clara County will have the ability to send out a location-based alert to PulsePoint users in the vicinity of a reported heart attack, according to a press release from El Camino Hospital.

“It’s an Amber Alert for cardiac arrest victims,” said Richard Price, president of the PulsePoint Foundation and the former chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.

The application comes with built-in guides that train people in basic “hands-only” cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which, Price said, can be learned in minutes and has the potential to make the difference between life and death.

“This is really all about response times,” Price said, explaining that when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest, every minute counts. When someone’s heart stops beating, brain damage can set in after about six minutes and without intervention in the first 10 minutes, the likelihood of death is nearly certain. Very often, he said, “the emergency response crews can’t get there in time”

Basic, hands-only CPR rapid, two-inch-deep chest compressions can help prevent brain damage and keep a person alive until EMTs or paramedics arrive.

“Bystander CPR use is critical,” Price said.

According to the American Heart Association, about 1,000 people have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the U.S. every day, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander. Given statistics like those, Price said he figures that the more people that adopt the PulsePoint app, the better. “We’re pretty much putting a radio in everybody’s hand, so we can dispatch people,” he said.

Jaime Garrett, public information officer for the Mountain View Fire Department, said the department is looking forward to the PulsePoint launch.

“It really increases our community members’ chances of survival should a cardiac arrest or a cardiac incident happen in a public place,” Garrett said. “With any cardiac incident, the sooner CPR is initiated, the better the chances of survival. It gives our residents the tools necessary to be able to respond in a timely manner.”

Garrett, like Price, recommended that everyone with an Android, or iOS device download the app. PulsePoint can be found in the Apple App Store and the Android marketplace on the Google Play site.

Anyone with the PulsePoint app on a mobile device will get a notification of cardiac events occurring within a quarter mile of their location at the time the alert is issued. The app’s users will also be given directions from their location to the site of the reported victim, as well as information on any nearby automated external defibrillators a device that uses electricity to restart the heart of victims of cardiac arrest.

Price, who developed the app in coordination with cloud application maker Workday, said the idea first came to him when he was on a lunch break during his tenure as chief of San Ramon Valley Fire.

He was in uniform, eating his lunch, when an ambulance pulled up outside the restaurant. Someone was having a heart attack in the building next door and he had no idea it was happening.

“It was a pretty shocking experience,” Price recalls especially considering the fact that he could have helped if he only had known. “That was the genesis of the app.”

View the entire news story by Nick Veronin at the Mountain View Voice.

Full Story

January 15, 2013 | by

Queen’s University Leads Toronto Test of Life-Saving App

Kingston Herald ImageQueen’s University is teaming up with The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada to test a potentially life-saving smartphone app called “PulsePoint” in Toronto.

The free app has been designed to notify people with CPR training when an emergency cardiac event is happening nearby.

Pulsepoint works in conjunction with the local 911 emergency service – as soon as they receive a call about sudden cardiac arrest, the app can be triggered to send out a text message reading “CPR NEEDED” to all PulsePoint users in the area simultaneous to emergency respondents also being dispatched to the scene.

Participants who receive the alert message can then access a map included in the app to show their current location and the location of the medical emergency.

The map also shows locations of public automated external defibrillators or AEDs. An AED automatically diagnoses issues, including arrhythmia, and uses electrical therapy to stop the arrhythmia.

Read the full article by Merideth Smith at the Kingston Herald.

Full Story

January 13, 2013 | by

PulsePoint set to begin Clinical Trial in Toronto, Canada

NIH Logo“Sudden cardiac arrest” occurs when someone’s heart stops beating unexpectedly. Each year, more than 45,000 Canadians have a cardiac arrest. A bystander can do three things to improve survival: Call 911,start chest compressions and apply a defibrillator. Together, these actions can increase survival by up to 800%. The problem is that bystanders to cardiac arrest only provide CPR in about 3 of every 10 cardiac arrest cases and AED use in about 3 of every 100 cardiac arrest cases. There are many people in the community who are trained and willing to provide help for cardiac arrest victims such as off-duty paramedics, fire fighters, nurses, etc. When a cardiac arrest occurs in the city, it is likely that one of these people is nearby, but unaware of the emergency. The PulsePoint smartphone application enables these people to be notified by the local emergency 911 service when there is a cardiac arrest near to them. It can be freely downloaded to several common types of smartphones. When there is a cardiac arrest emergency, all nearby PulsePoint users are sent an alert from the 911 service. When the phones receive the alert, they ring, vibrate and display a text message saying “CPR NEEDED”. The user’s current location and the exact location of the cardiac arrest are then displayed on a map. Nearby public access AEDs are also indicated on the map. The smartphone users can then go to provide chest compressions and use an AED while paramedics are on their way. A video at www.pulsepoint.org shows how this works. The objective of the investigators is to measure whether the PulsePoint smartphone application increases bystander CPR or AED use for victims of cardiac arrest outside the hospital. This project will happen in the City of Toronto. The investigators have a plan to get as many people as possible to download the application, focusing on health care professionals who know CPR. The investigators will set up a webpage that helps people download the software to their phone. The investigators will randomize 911 calls to have a PulsePoint alert sent or not. The investigators will use statistical analysis to measure whether sending an alert to a smartphone increases the chances of bystander resuscitation.

Sponsor
Queen’s University

Collaborator
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

Principal Investigator
Steven C Brooks, MD MHSc

For complete information view the Study Detail at U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Full Story