Project Details

A map pinpointing PulsePoint responders


Building a CPR-trained mobile army

By PulsePoint Foundation

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @PulsePoint

  • Health
  • Data
  • Geolocation
  • Mobile

Timely cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can mean the difference between life and death. Due to the short window of time available, first responders frequently get to the scene too late and 90% of those suffering a cardiac arrest outside hospital die. PulsePoint was designed to increase the number of people arriving in hospital alive after a heart attack. It does this by sending an alert to anyone trained in CPR who happens to be nearby when a person has collapsed. 

The software, which was developed by a former US fire chief, automatically zaps a message to anyone who has downloaded the app, is local and has their phone switched on, when an incident is called in to the paramedics. 

PulsePoint founder Richard Price says he conceived the app when he discovered he’d been in the same building as someone whose life he could potentially have saved, if only he'd been aware of the need close by.   

All emergency calls that summon local paramedics to the scene of a potential cardiac arrest automatically trigger PulsePoint. The app then sends a message to citizens (57% of whom have had CPR training in the US) or off-duty emergency personnel (all of whom are trained) who are close enough to help. Police and fire departments set the radius for alerts which tend to be around a quarter of a mile. On average three people are notified of each incident, with the figure rising to as high as 10 in some cases. The app also pinpoints the closest automated external defibrillator (AED), to further improve chances of survival. 

The app, which is free to download, was developed in June 2009 and piloted for a year before being rolled out across 1,000 cities and 22 states, including LA, Las Vegas and Orlando. It is also being used by Australian and Canadian firefighters.

Image 'Hands-Only CPR' courtesy of MTSOfan

Last updated: 04th of June, 2014

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