The PulsePoint Respond mobile device application to crowdsource basic life support for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: Challenges for optimal implementation

Steven C. Brooks, Graydon Simmons, Heather Worthington, Bentley J Bobrow, Laurie J. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


Background: PulsePoint Respond is a novel mobile device application that notifies citizens within 400. m (~1/4. mile) of a suspected cardiac arrest to facilitate resuscitation. Our objectives were to (1) characterize users, and (2) understand their behavior after being sent a notification. We sought to identify challenges for optimal implementation of PulsePoint-mediated bystander resuscitation. Methods: PulsePoint Respond users who sent a notification between 04/07/2012 and 06/16/2014 were invited to participate in an online survey. At the beginning of our study, PulsePoint Respond was active in more than 600 US communities. Results: There were 1274 completed surveys (response rate 1448/6777, 21.4%). Respondents were firefighters (28%), paramedics (18%), emergency medical technicians (9%), nurses (7%), MDs (1%), other health care professionals (12%), and non-health care professionals (42%). Of those who received a PulsePoint notification, only 23% (189/813) responded to the PulsePoint notification. Of those who responded, 28% (52/187) did not arrive on scene. Of those who did arrive on scene, only 32% (44/135) found a person unconscious and not breathing normally. Of those who arrived on scene prior to emergency medical services and found a cardiac arrest victim, 79% (11/14) performed bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Conclusions: Challenges for optimal implementation of PulsePoint Respond include technical aspects of the notifications (audio volume, precision of location information), excessive activation radii, insufficient user density in the community, and suboptimal cardiac arrest notification specificity. PulsePoint Respond has the potential to improve the community response to cardiac arrest, with 80% of responders attempting basic life support when they found a cardiac arrest victim prior to EMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Automated external defibrillators
  • Bystanders
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Mobile devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Emergency Medicine

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