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Crowdsourced app gets CPR volunteers to cardiac arrest victims fast


When someone’s heart stops, there are just minutes to save them from brain damage or death; by the time medics arrive, it can be too late. This is the problem former San Ramon Valley Fire Department chief Richard Price set out to solve with the crowdsourced iOS app, PulsePoint.

Price came up with the idea for the app after a tragedy that happened feet from where he was sitting, reports Re/code.

He was off-duty at a local deli when he heard sirens. Emergency vehicles pulled up and he rushed outside to see what was going on. A man in a shop next door had collapsed and emergency responders were unable to revive him.

“He was on the other side of the wall, I couldn’t see him,” Price says. “He lay there unconscious with no one doing CPR. I had a (automated defibrillator) nearby in my vehicle.”

PulsePoint is a free app that can be downloaded by both professionals and amateurs alike. When a 911 center in a connected community gets a call to a cardiac arrest, the location is immediately sent to any PulsePoint users close by. It also alerts them to the locations of nearby automatic defibrillators.

The app uses sophisticated location-based services to alert trained citizens in the immediate vicinity of the need for CPR. The application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Los Angeles County began using the system earlier this month, and there are around 700 other local communities across 20 states who have so far signed up to the service. Price says the eventual goal is to be connected to every 911 call center in the Unites States.

If you’re CPR trained, you can download the free app on the App Store. A reader in the comments also alerted us to a UK version of the app, GoodSAM Responder, also available on iTunes.

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  1. rgbfoundry - 9 years ago

    This will be ripe for parody soon as 5 random volunteers rush to a victim and end up debating their qualifications while the guy dies in front of the GAP.

    • Tim Jr. - 9 years ago

      unlikely.. usually first person on sense takes control and others after ask if they can assist.

      • Tim Jr. - 9 years ago

        sense = scene.. auto-correct.

  2. Tim Jr. - 9 years ago

    Love crowdsourced concepts.. gets products and apps to market that generally competition wise, would never see the light of day.. not because people are not interested, but because competition doesn’t want it to cut into profits.

    Great idea here..

    • herb02135go - 9 years ago

      “To find a person near you who needs CPR, click here to accept the Terms of Service. “

  3. Nice idea. Government tries to ruin it in 3… 2…

    • herb02135go - 9 years ago

      And how would government ruin this? Or do you have some agenda?

      The US has laws to protect good Samaritans. That is an example of government helping people by encouraging others to get involved.

  4. Sam Howard - 9 years ago

    Very similar app been released in the UK by a London doc called Goodsam.

  5. fromspain2 - 9 years ago

    There is an app developed in Barcelona for Android and iOS called GOUPTOME that do the same. They also have a huge database of defibrillators located worldwide!


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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