Last month a smartphone app helped saved man dying from a heart attack.
On March 25, a 63-year old named Farid Rashti collapsed on a field in Sunnyvale, Calif., while playing soccer. He was having a heart attack. His teammates called 911 and waited for trained professionals to arrive.
Lucky for Rashti, a man named Walter Huber rushed to the scene and saved his life. Huber had received an notification about Rashti’s condition from his phone.
The app alerting Huber of Rashti was called PulsePoint; It crowdsources CPR-trained individuals whenever there’s a person in need of CPR within walking distance.
The PulsePoint app was created by an eponymous nonprofit organisation hoping to mobilize CPR-trained people in the hopes of saving lives. Communities join via their hospitals. Every time 9-11 is dispatched for a cardiac arrest case, it informs users of the app who are within a quarter-mile radius of the event in the hopes that they may be able to get there first. These users receive an alert and hopefully spring to the occasion.
Shannon Smith of PulsePoint told Business Insider that the idea is to speed up the “chain of survival.” Last year, the app was also able to save a baby in need of CPR.
Smith explained that the idea came from a former fire chief in San Ramon, California who once learned a man died of cardiac arrest when he was merely feet away. He realised that if he had received an alert that this man was nearby, he may have been able to save his life.
So the fire chief worked with researchers at Northern Kentucky University to build the app.
Now, PulsePoint is in over 1,100 communities in North America, has been activated 4,400 times, with over 12,000 CPR-trained responders, according to Smith.
Due to HIPAA regulations, it’s rare that the organisation can disclose when it has saved a life. “We don’t have an account of every save,” explained Smith. But this example from last month gave PulsePoint one such opportunity.
PulsePoint hopes it helps get the word out so more communities may be able to crowdsource such skills.