App that can get first aider to you faster than an ambulance
There is a revolutionary smartphone app that can save your life.
A First-Aider, Rachel, recently brought a man back from the dead. “It’s an incredible feeling”, she said.
The heart of the man from London had stopped beating. However, Rachel – who was several streets away from the man at the time – did not see him collapse. Somehow, she knew about the emergency and went to the rescue, arriving before the ambulance.
“[I] started CPR, attached the defibrillator, and immediately that advised a shock. And he literally suddenly went ‘I can see you’. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget that moment at all.”, she told the BBC.
So how did Rachel know about the emergency and arrive there so quickly?
When someone’s heart stops beating, the race is on to get them medical help. Speed, in that moment, is critical. For every minute the person does not have defibrillation or CPR, their chances of survival fall by 10 per cent.
Most people do not survive a cardiac arrest outside of hospital because ambulances usually cannot get to them quickly enough.
Ali and Mark came up with a solution. They made an app called GoodSam. It alerts paramedics and other emergency service personnel if they are close to an emergency.
“Responders download the GoodSam app and run that app in the background of their phone. The app collects the GPS location and sends it to us. So we know at any given time where the responders are.” Ali said.
The app monitors emergency calls to ambulance services. “If you [the caller] say a certain series of words, which include things like not conscious, not breathing; things that are highly likely to be a cardiac arrest, then it automatically triggers the system,” Mark said.
“Once it can locate them, it will send them a push notification asking them if they can attend to help the patient.”, Ali explained. The app displays a map of where to go.
The ambulance is still going to be on the way, but the responder will be there a few minutes earlier. This means that in those critical minutes, the responder can buy the patient some oxygen time, for when the ambulance arrives to then provide more definitive care. Rachel got the man she rescued 4 minutes prior to the ambulance.
Anyone with accredited First Aid training can volunteer for the app. So far, 10,000 people in the UK have done so.
It costs an ambulance service £14.980 a year to integrate the app with their emergency calls. It’s in operation in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
The app does not guarantee survival. Research is underway to assess how effective it is.