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A Promising New mHealth Development; Emergency Alert Apps

Recent positive reports have surfaced about a new app in California called PulsePoint. The app picks up alerts of cardiac arrest in nearby public areas and notifies the user, who should be CPR certified. This offers an opportunity for more immediate assistance to be offered to the person suffering from cardiac arrest, which can improve their chances of survival immensely. The app has already been downloaded copiously in San Jose and Los Angeles. Especially in big cities such as these, EMS response time can often stretch to many minutes, and in a situation such as cardiac arrest, every second counts. The possibilities of apps such as PulsePoint are exciting and encouraging. Often, the search for “instant gratification” is hailed as a serious issue in todays culture. The pursuit of faster, simpler electronics and operating systems is often a point of contention. But when it comes to emergency situations, certainly instant gratification is the optimal goal. This is where the focus and aims of smartphones and their developers could make a huge impact, a field in which the search for streamlined services becomes a matter of life and death. With the advent of apps such as PulsePoint, an exciting new innovative realm is opened. The mobile healthcare field is already booming, but expanding this ingenuity to emergency services is a fantastic foray. A pursuit often portrayed negatively, instant gratification, can be redeemed and used to save lives. The speed and connectivity of smartphones is the perfect medium through which to get certified help to emergency situations.

Another interesting aspect of PulsePoint is the connectivity that it brings between the medical field and the community. Often the medical field can seem detached, and emergency services can seem regrettably overworked. With an app such as PulsePoint, opportunity is give for community members to assist, even rescue one another. Suddenly, with an app such as PulsePoint, the responsibility and opportunity of an emergency technician is placed on every certified citizen who is willing to download the app. PulsePoint also informs the user of the nearest AED, once again offering connections. Whereas previously someone could die within minutes of a life-saving AED, were an app such as PulsePoint to become a standard usage a larger number of citizens would have access to crucial information such as AED locations. The use of alert apps such as PulsePoint could involve the community, providing an encouraging look at a community that looks out for each other. These kind of apps provide a citizen-to-citizen connection that often emergency services cannot provide. An app like PulsePoint is exactly what those searching for healthcare and community connection need.

PulsePoint is an excellent example and starting point for future emergency alert apps. Provided for already certified citizens, emergency alert apps can greatly improve critical response times and supply an integral connection point between healthcare and the community; both of these should be main goals of any mHealth developer or researcher.

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