PulsePoint, the subject of a recent Governing article, is an app that alerts users when someone nearby is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. The alert is sent through local fire departments and emergency medical services agencies. The idea behind the app is that an everyday citizen with CPR-training is likely to reach the person faster than emergency services personnel and can administer CPR until they arrive. The app also allows users to report the locations of auto external defibrillators (AEDs), devices that work faster and are easier to use to jump start a person's heart than traditional CPR.
Approximately 325,000 people die each year in the U.S. from sudden cardiac arrest, and about 57 percent of American adults are trained in CPR. The American Heart association estimates that administering CPR immediately can double or even triple a person's chance of survival after suffering cardiac arrest.