Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published some studies according to which using mobile phone apps to alert individuals trained in CPR about someone having a cardiac arrest at a place near to them increases the chances of victim getting timely CPR and also improves the survival rates of the victim.
In accordance with the past research and the NEJM studies, victims getting out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have very low chances of survival. However, survival rates are more than double if victims are given CPR by bystanders. Moreover, researchers have now investigated that bystander-initiated CPR rates can be improved using mobile phone technology.
In United States of America, PulsePoint is gaining grounds working with emergency dispatchers in 22 states and 1,300 communities with more than 300,000 trained volunteers. PulsePoint is a mobile phone app called that can help in fighting against heart failure in an emergency situation. However, the system is facing some challenges. PulsePoint only alerts and sends its respondents to emergencies that take place in public places not in private places or homes.
According to a spokeswoman for the organization, Shannon Smith, “the policy was put into place to protect volunteers and PulsePoint from liability, limiting the app’s reach to about 20 percent of cardiac arrest cases.”
Michael Sayre, a professor at the University of Washington explains that “There are concerns around privacy and the public’s willingness to knock on the door (to do CPR).”
These smart phone apps are also complemented by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association in order to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation more accessible, particularly by making training simpler and easier for general public. For this reason mouth-to-mouth resuscitation has been eliminated from the training as it is hard to do and is not as effective as chest compressions.
CPR is a process that manually pumps the heart, when the heart stops beating. CPR is mostly carried out on cardiac arrest victims. Cardiac arrest can be the outcome of a heart attack; however, it can also take place when the heart is not beating normally or because of severe lack of oxygen. In this case, defibrillators can be used for getting the regular beating of the heart back by delivering an electric shock all through the body. The mobile phone apps have features especially designed to find automated external defibrillators AEDs close to cardiac arrest incidents.