January 25, 2013 | by

Emergency CPR Mobile App Could Save Lives

techvibes-logoCrowdsourcing is changing the way we handle digital information. It helps us distribute tasks, share photos, fund projects, and expand our professional networks.

Through a clinical trial in Toronto, one company is poised to take crowdsourcing in Canada a step further with a CPR app that could save lives.

The PulsePoint Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has developed the PulsePoint app to help victims who have gone into sudden cardiac arrest. The app alerts people in the area who have CPR training when someone nearby is experiencing a cardiac event.

Using the app, which is available for Android and iOS, 911 dispatchers will send out a message to users in the vicinity. If you have the PulsePoint app on your smartphone, you’ll immediately receive a notification, whether you’re in the grocery store, the mall, or even at a hockey game.

Read the full article by Taryn McMillan at Techvibes.

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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.

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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.

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December 10, 2012 | by

App Makes Bystanders Key in Cardiac Arrest Survival

Firehouse Magazine LogoCitizens in a growing number of cities around the U.S. are now getting alerted when there’s an opportunity to perform bystander CPR, thanks to the PulsePoint phone app.

The free app, which notifies trained citizens of nearby cardiac emergencies and the location of the nearest AED, was originally developed and tested by the San Ramon Valley (Calif.) Fire Protection District. It works by connecting a participating agency’s dispatch data into the PulsePoint service so that citizen alerts go out simultaneously with the dispatch of local fire and EMS resources. (Citizen alerts only go out for cardiac emergencies in public places, not to private addresses.) The app shows the victim and the nearby AEDs on a map, in context to the recipient of the alert.

The app has had several updates and releases since it first launched.“The app is in a continuous update cycle,” said Price, thanks to time donated by professional developers at Workday, Inc. “We’re working on a major new version right now.”

In February, after the program had been running locally in San Ramon for over a year, the PulsePoint Foundation opened it up to other agencies. It has quickly spread in California and nationally.

“By the end of the month we expect it to be in more than 100 cities,” said San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price, who is also the president of the PulsePoint foundation.

Read the full article by Heather Caspi at Firehouse.com.

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March 21, 2012 | by

PulsePoint App Coming to Toronto, Canada

HSFO LogoRescu, a prestigious resuscitation research group based at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto announced it has received a three-year grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO) to study the effectiveness of the PulsePoint app. The trial will evaluate the ability of the application to increase bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation rates and automated external defibrillator use on victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Approximately 45,000 Canadians suffer sudden cardiac arrest annually and one Canadian dies every 12 minutes from cardiac arrest. Only 8.4% of patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) survive to hospital discharge. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation are key links in the chain of survival. However, only 30% of all OHCA patients receive bystander CPR and only 2% have an automated defibrillator (AED) applied prior to the arrival of emergency medical services. The PulsePoint app uses the location-aware capabilities of GPS-enabled smartphones to link emergency medical dispatch with citizens in close proximity to a cardiac arrest event. Citizens who have downloaded the PulsePoint software to their phone can be alerted when a cardiac arrest victim nearby requires basic life support. The citizen then has the opportunity to provide CPR and apply an AED while EMS personnel are en route. The primary aim of the study is to determine whether an alert sent by the 911 emergency dispatch center to PulsePoint application users in the immediate vicinity of a cardiac arrest is associated with an increased probability of bystander resuscitation.

The grant request was ranked 2 out of 273 applications requesting funding from the HSFO this year. The principal investigator for the study is Dr. Steven Brooks, a clinician-scientist and emergency physician at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and an affiliate scientist at Rescu, St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada (www.rescu.ca).

The City of Toronto is the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada. The Greater Toronto Area is home to more than 5.5 million people and is the center of one of North America’s most dynamic regions. Toronto is the capital city of the Province of Ontario.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy. The Foundation is a federation of 10 provincial Foundations, led and supported by a force of more than 130,000 volunteers. In 2010, the Foundation invested more than $106 million into research, health promotion and community programs. The Foundation currently funds more than 600 researchers and research teams at medical institutes, universities and hospitals.

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