PulsePoint: community engagement to save lives

The Foundation

PulsePoint is a non-profit foundation based in San Francisco, California. Created in 2011, PulsePoint is devoted to helping local public safety agencies improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

The foundation is chaired by Richard Price, former Fire Chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, and is guided by an Advisory Board made up of tech and medical professionals.

The organisation is funded through a combination of license fees paid by adopting agencies and donations from private individuals and charitable foundations.

The challenge

A thousand people suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest everyday in the United States, with less than 11% survival rates. The chances of recovering from such accidents depend heavily on time. Indeed, each minute after a cardiac arrest diminishes chances of survival by 10%.

After a call is placed to an emergency dispatch, it may take several minutes for first responders to reach the person in need. The founders of PulsePoint were looking for a viable solution to bridge that gap between an emergency dispatch call and professional medical response. 

The satellite solution

PulsePoint, which is built and maintained by Workday volunteers, is a mobile application that calls on active citizenship to help save lives and is free to download for any person trained in hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

PulsePoint Respond is integrated directly into a communities’ emergency dispatch system. When a cardiac arrest occurs in a public place, it is reported to local emergency services, where emergency dispatchers simultaneously alert professional responders and PulsePoint-carrying, CPR-trained people nearby. The GPS-aware software notifies responders of the patient’s location, in relation to their own location, and identifies any publicly accessible automated external defibrillators nearby. Allowing CPR-trained persons to provide first aid to the cardiac arrest patient before the emergency services arrive.

In addition to life-saving CPR notifications, the application provides a complete virtual window into the emergency communication centres of PulsePoint-enabled agencies. As mobile users have real-time access to emergency activity as it’s occurring in these communities, the application offers a unique opportunity for civic engagement and transparency.

The results

There are more than 2 000 PulsePoint-connected communities in 30 U.S. states with more than one million active users. On average, the application is activated 30 times a day.

Bystander CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Fifty-seven percent of adults in the U.S. say they have undergone training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, most often due to work or school requirements. With PulsePoint, any of these people can help save a life.

The application gave my one-month-old son another fighting chance at life.” Michael Garrison, Father of SCA survivor