Around three hundred thousand people in the U.S. are said to suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, so with survival rates standing at less than eight percent and brain death taking a grip just four to six minutes after an attack, every second counts.
The San Ramon Valley Fire Department is therefore calling on members of the public who have been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help. A new location-aware iPhone app has been developed that notifies registered users within the 155 square-mile (401.5 sq km) San Ramon Valley, California region when their skills are needed to save lives.
If a cardiac emergency happens in a publicly accessible location, the freely available iPhone app developed by the San Ramon Fire Department will use the smartphone’s GPS capabilities to identify registered users trained in CPR in the vicinity and let them know that someone nearby needs help. It will also direct the local heroes to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator.
“The creation and deployment of a smartphone application that notifies trained bystanders of nearby cardiac arrest events completely redefines the traditional meaning of a witnessed arrest by expanding awareness over a much broader area,” said Fire Chief Richard Price. “Providing actionable, real-time information during a sudden cardiac arrest emergency, including mapping the victim and rescuer locations, along with the nearest AED locations, is the quintessential use of GPS technology on a mobile phone today.”