If there’s a “best” place for one’s heart to stop, being outside the hospital is not a bad place to be.

Now, in the United States and in Singapore, two free applications, with similar mechanics, seek to connect those trained in CPR and AED, to those who suffer from heart attacks.

Response time is everything

In Singapore, the mobile application is known as myResponder while the US version is called PulsePoint, and is active in 2,000 states spread across 28 states. This is where the differences end – both applications are linked to the nationwide emergency call center, and links nearby emergency first responders to heart attack patients.

Two weeks ago, PulsePoint saved the life of 60-year-old Stephen DeMont. He collapsed at a bus stop in front of University of Washington Medical Center, and was saved by two individuals – a medical student who started CPR, and a cardiac nurse, who was alerted by her phone, until the paramedics arrived.

Just five days later, he was walking, smiling, and talking about the lifesaving PulsePoint app.

These apps can be crucial, especially in a rapidly ageing population, where every minute’s delay in response lowers survival rates by 10%.

Innovation to save lives

Both myResponder and PulsePoint work by connecting community first responders to a city’s medical emergency call network, and was developed by Singapore Civil Defence Force and the former chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District in Northern California respectively.

Alerts, requesting for CPR assistance, are customised to be issued to all users within a certain perimeter, along with the location of the nearest portable defibrillator (AED).

In the Singaporean version, users would also be able to have access to the nationwide database on all public AED.

Such applications have revolutionised the emergency health provider landscape, and has the potential to increase survival rates for those in cardiac arrest, if CPR is administered within two to three minutes.

Despite its massive potential, due to patient confidentiality laws, we will never be able to know how effective it is. Hospitals are not allowed to disclose a patient’s outcome.

Awards for NCDCC duo who responded to two calls in a day

Earlier this year in Singapore, in the span of just two hours, 19-year-olds Hairil Aidilfitri Johari and Muhammad Adhwa Ahlami Johari, responded to two calls together after receiving alerts from myResponder.

The first call for help was in the wee hours of 5:30am, and occurred while they were watching a Euro 2016 match, and before their pre-dawn Ramadan meal. They arrived at the scene in approximately two minutes.

The duo received training during their days as a cadet in National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC), a co-curricular activity that focuses on imbuing first-aid skills – CPR and AED – to students, in the hopes that they would be able to respond to any emergency effectively, should they pass-by it.

Barely able to catch their breath, they were issued with a subsequent call at 7:33am.

In recognition for their exceptional efforts, the SCDF conferred upon them the Public Spiritedness Award at the 4th SCDF Division Headquarters. MIMS

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Sources:
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/teens-who-helped-two-cardiac-arrest-victims-in-a-day-get-scdf-awards http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/scdf-launches-new-app-for-public-to-report-and-respond-to-cardiac-arrest-cases
https://ww2.kqed.org/futureofyou/2016/10/21/cardiac-patient-aided-by-bystanders-alerted-by-app/
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/ambulance-calls-climb-with-ageing-population