July 23, 2013 | by

Crowdsourcing Life-Saving Assistance

AmbulanceDisaster responders cannot be everywhere at the same time, but the crowd is always there. The same is true for health care professionals such as critical care paramedics who work with an ambulance service. Paramedics cannot be posted everywhere. Can crowdsourcing help? This was the question posed to me by my colleague Mark who overseas the ambulance personnel for a major city.

Take Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), for example. SCA’s account for an estimated 325,000 deaths each year in the US—one person every two minutes. Survival rates nationally are less than 8%. But Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, can sustain life until paramedics arrive by maintaining blood flow to the heart and brain. “Without oxygen-rich blood, permanent brain damage or death can occur in less than 8 minutes. After 10 minutes there is little chance of successful resuscitation. Even in modern urban settings the response times for professional rescuers commonly approach these time frames”. This explains why “effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival”. In fact, close to 60% of adults in the US say they have taken CPR training (often due to school requirements) and 11% say they have used CPR in an actual emergency.

So why not develop a dedicated smartphone app to alert bystanders when someone nearby is suffering from a Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Read the full post by Patrick Meier on the iRevolution blog.

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