PulsePoint Project to Increase Survival After Cardiac Arrest in BC

Dr. Steven Brooks, a clinician-scientist in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Queen’s University, is working with BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) on the PulsePoint project to increase survival after cardiac arrest in BC.

BC Emergency Health Services launched an innovative community engagement program called the PulsePoint Respond program throughout the province in 2018. The PulsePoint Respond mobile device application links community members with local 9-1-1 dispatch so that they can be notified of nearby cardiac arrest emergencies in public settings.

This app empowers citizens who are willing and able to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and potentially use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to respond to suspected sudden cardiac arrest incidents in public locations. The goal of the app is to increase the occurrence of immediate bystander basic life support while professional crews are on the way. PulsePoint is active in more than 4000 communities around the world with over 2.5 million subscribers globally.

For PulsePoint to have maximum impact on saving lives in BC, they need to significantly increase the number of CPR-trained people who download the free app on their phone. Although the app is currently active in the province, most cardiac arrest events do not have a nearby user (within the activation radius of 400 meters) because uptake of the app in BC is low.

As highly trained personnel with a collective commitment to community health and safety, physical therapists are the ideal users of the PulsePoint app.

The app is free to download and none of the involved parties gain financially from users downloading the app. BCEHS subscribes to the PulsePoint service and pays an annual subscription fee to PulsePoint, which is independent on the number of app downloads.