March 10, 2013 | by

Can a new smartphone application being piloted in Michigan save lives?

Blue Cross Blue ShieldFor residents of Saginaw County, the odds of surviving sudden cardiac arrest are starting to get a lot better.

An initiative spearheaded by the Michigan CardioVascular Institute Foundation and Mobile Medical Response has made Saginaw County the pilot for a smartphone application called PulsePoint, the only county in Michigan involved in testing the technology. In fact, this is only the 12th implementation of the application in the country, and the first in the Midwest. The initiative was introduced during MCVI’s Shocks and Saves charity hockey game on Feb. 2, an event sponsored by BCBSM.

The premise behind the app is simple. People trained in basic CPR are encouraged to download the PulsePoint app. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, people who are trained and who are currently near the victim are messaged through the app so that CPR can be administered until the ambulance arrives.

“During cardiac arrest, seconds really do matter. Immediate chest compressions can triple the chances of survival. Waiting for the ambulance is not the answer — it takes a community to combat sudden cardiac arrest,” says Lynn M. Schutter, director of community relations/strategic planning for MMR.

Read the full article by David Lingholm at MI Blues Perspectives.