August 22, 2022

San Francisco Launches Use of PulsePoint Mobile App to Help Save Lives

The PulsePoint Respond mobile phone application will increase community awareness of medical emergencies and alert and direct CPR-trained individuals nearby to cardiac arrest victim.

San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and City officials today announced the launch of PulsePoint, a mobile phone application (PulsePoint app) designed to support public safety agencies increasing cardiac arrest survival rates through improved bystander performance and active resident support.

San Francisco’s 9-1-1 dispatch center has formally integrated the use of the PulsePoint application with the 9-1-1 computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system. When a 9-1-1 dispatcher receives and identifies a call related to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the information on the CAD system will automatically trigger a PulsePoint application push notification.

“When someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest, help must arrive as soon as possible to increase their chances of survival,” said San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Executive Director Mary Ellen Carroll. “The PulsePoint app provides 9-1-1 dispatchers with an additional tool to notify individuals nearby to respond, perform lifesaving CPR quickly, and provide AED assistance until first responders arrive.”

Anyone with the app who is located within a six-block radius of the incident can receive a push notification to the location of the closest publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (AED) to render aid.

“Time is of the upmost importance when it comes to helping someone experiencing a cardiac arrest. The PulsePoint app provides this critical element: closing the time gap between when CPR is started,” said San Francisco Fire Department Chief Jeanine Nicholson. “We want anyone willing and able to conduct CPR on someone experiencing cardiac arrest to download the PulsePoint app. This way bystanders and emergency medical first responders can work together to save lives.”

In the past three months, DEM’s Emergency Medical Services Agency (EMSA) staff have received three CPR-needed alerts from the PulsePoint app. EMSA staff were able to respond in person with an AED within five minutes, arriving before or at the same time as paramedics.

DEM conducted a soft launch of the app on May 19, 2022 and has seen a steady increase in the number of registered users. There are 1027 registered monthly active users as of July 2022. The PulsePoint app is available for download on Google Play and the iPhone App Store.

To learn more, watch DEM’s public service announcement video about the app.

About the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) leads the City in planning, preparedness, communication, response, and recovery for daily emergencies, large scale citywide events, and major disasters. DEM is the vital link in emergency communication between the public and first responders, and provides key coordination and leadership to City departments, stakeholders, residents, and visitors.

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a public 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that builds applications for use by public safety agencies to increase community awareness during critical events. The PulsePoint Respond mobile app notifies trained individuals of the nearby need for CPR and the PulsePoint AED registry identifies AED (automated external defibrillator) locations for use by the public and 9-1-1 telecommunicators during emergency call taking. PulsePoint also provides specialized mobile apps for professional responders. Learn more at pulsepoint.org or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Although a heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the two are not the same. SCA is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly, whereas a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, but the heart continues to beat. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent, but delivery of CPR can sustain life until paramedics arrive by maintaining vital blood flow to the heart and brain. However, only about a third of SCA victims receive bystander CPR. Without CPR, brain damage or death can occur in minutes. The average EMS response time is nine minutes, even in urban settings; after 10 minutes there is little chance of successful resuscitation. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after SCA, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.


Source: City and County of San Francisco