CPR Mobile Phone Apps: Are they Actually Life Saving? -

CPR Mobile Phone Apps: Are they Actually Life Saving?

CPR mobile phone apps usually promise to do one thing – give the users basic information that would allow them to perform CPR anytime the need arises. This could be in the form of simple steps to follow, or could be training materials that users would have to go through over a longer period of time. Regardless of how long it would take for these users to grasp the main concept of CPR, these apps basically aim to empower more people to help save a life

A group of Dutch researchers set out to find more about these apps available in the market.

There are more than 50 apps that provide CPR related information or training on the go. However some of the apps were excluded from the tests because they were either focused on pediatric and veterinary life support, while the rest were not yet available for download. Of the remaining apps evaluated, the researchers uncovered the following facts:

  • 75% of the apps included emergency support, the rest did not.
  • 35% followed the guidelines set by the American Heart Association for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care.
  • 28% fulfilled the minimum criteria, which covers conformity with AHA guidelines, availability of training features, and availability of emergency or real life support.
  • Only 15% offered the users the ability to make an emergency call.
  • Only one app, Pocket CPR offered the GPS location of the user for faster emergency response.

These findings were only a result of the initial phase, which basically studied their eligibility to be called as effective CPR apps.

For the second phase the apps were evaluated for their learnability and usability. Although one app, Reanimatie, showed very high scores for both scales, the app was only available in Dutch. CPR & Choking, as well as FDNY Lifesaver Beta V1.0 were the next top scorers, both available in the English language. As for the rest of the aps, they received mixed results when it came to this part of the evaluation.

Some Popular Mobile Apps from the List

  • CPR & Chocking
  • FDNY Lifesaver Beta V1.0
  • Hands Only CPR
  • John Ambulance First Aid
  • Emergency First Aid & Treatment Guide
  • Free CPR
  • SOS American Red Cross
  • PocketCPR
  • Pocket First Aid & CPR

There are also a few other alternatives in case there is a need for someone who is truly knowledgeable in the CPR process. There are quite a few apps that do not exactly promise to teach users how to do CPR, but commit to alerting trained people to respond to the emergency if CPR is needed.

PulsePoint is one such app. Anytime an emergency is in progress, everybody who has CPR training within the vicinity are instantly alerted through their mobile, informing them of the exact location of the emergency and what is needed. Those who were alerted can easily run to the location and start doing CPR before the medics arrive.

It was Alameda County that first used this app, and their fire chief couldn’t have been more relieved. He admits that it is always a huge relief for them to see that someone is already performing CPR in situations where it is required, and has made the most of the time that they spend waiting for the medics to arrive instead of sitting around doing nothing. This can certainly make a huge difference in the survival rate of any person who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped to survive the incident.

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