The iPhone App That Can Save Lives

Attention iPhone users, this app could save lives.A new iPhone application launched by the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District in California alerts citizens when someone in the area has gone into cardiac arrest.

The application also sends the location of the nearest automatic electronic defibrillator.

When a 911 dispatcher inputs certain codes after receiving a distress call, the software sends out a text to citizens who have downloaded the application and indicated that they are CPR-certified.  When users open their smartphones, a map appears indicating the location of the incident, the location of an AED, and the user’s own location.

According to Richard Price, fire chief at SRVPD, there is less than an 8 percent chance of survival if someone goes into cardiac arrest on the street.

“With a cardiac arrest, you only get about 10 minutes to help,” Price said. “On average, it takes 7 minutes for first responders from a 911 call to arrive. The reason many people are dying is because of that difference.”

The application will enable citizens who are nearby to respond during that critical time period and give them access to an AED, which increases survival rates to 80 percent when it is used within the first 10 minutes.

Currently, the application will only be in use in the San Ramon district, but the SRVPD is looking for other agencies who want to implement it.  Developers are also working on making it available to Android and BlackBerry users.

The application is available at http://firedepartment.mobi/.

Click here to read more from O’Reilly Radar.