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Pulse Point for the Triangle

Raleigh, NC – CityCamp NC and the National Day of Civic Hacking took up most of the end of my week, but it was time well spent.

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The Keynote speaker, Adriel Hampton, VP of Community at NationBuilder, presented Pulse Point as a valuable community app to save lives.

One session of the CityCamp NC unconference I attended on Thursday focused on Pulse Point. The group was diverse, well connected and we felt that we could bring Pulse Point to the Triangle.

What is Pulse Point?

Pulse Point is an app that notifies citizens trained in CPR of a nearby emergency that requires their expertise. Those within a half-mile radius, who have downloaded the app will receive a text message informing them of the incident. A notice appears with the location or address if in a public place. If the event occurs at a private residence, only the street name is displayed.

The app works in conjunction with 911 technologies. This is done in a continued effort to minimize the time between the sudden cardiac arrest events and the start of CPR. The hope is to increase survival rates. Locations of AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) are shown on the app.

The Statistics

The chance of surviving an heart attack decreases by 10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation. Brain damage starts at ~6 minutes. The average national response time for emergency services is ~7 minutes.

Only about one quarter of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims receive bystander CPR, and public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are used less than 3% of the time when needed and available.

The Team Forms

On Friday, a few of the people from the unconference session gathered to see what we could do with Pulse Point. Chris Mathews from Wake County IS brought a view from inside the 911 Emergency Center from a technology perspective. Brett Husbands, the CEO of Firmstep had been involved with the adoption of Pulse Point in California, and brought the resources of his company to the team.

Chris contacted Dr. Brent Myers, EMS Director for Wake County and found that Brent had seen the Pulse Point implementation in Columbus, OH and in his words “EMS readily endorses implementation of this application [Pulse Point]”, but resource issues prevent Wake County from implementing Pulse Point at present. Chris spent quite a lot of time looking into what it would take to integrate the Pulse Point API into the Wake County/Raleigh CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system .

Brett took on the task of developing a nationwide AED map that could be used by any agency that would implement the Pulse Point app.

We were joined by Dana Magliola from BaerPoint Communications to help us put together a presentation, Ben Berkowitz from SeeClickFix who modified the SeeClickFix interface to allow geolocation of AED’s and Ian Cillay who took the information from SeeClickFix to input the locations into the Triangle Wiki.

The Presentation

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We competed against 6 teams and took 3rd place in the CityCamp NC competition.

The members of the team – Brett, Chris and myself feel that Pulse Point is needed in the Triangle and we are committed to bringing Pulse Point to the Triangle. The winnings from the event have been put into a seed fund to assist the adoption of this life-saving technology.

What is Next?

We need partners!

  • Counties – Wake, Durham, Orange, etc.
  • 911 Dispatch agencies in the Triangle
  • Hospitals – UNC, Wake, Duke
  • Chambers of Commerce – Raleigh, Cary, Durham, etc.
  • Non-Profits – American Heart Association, etc.

Look for Pulse Point to come to the Triangle area soon!

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  1. […] In May at CityCamp NC, the Keynote speaker – Adriel Hampton, VP of Community at NationBuilder introduced us to PulsePoint. I am part of a team that wants to bring PulsePoint to the Triangle (See Article). […]

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