Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The app that can save the lives of First Aid in version 2.0

See the video presentation, it could be mistaken for a TV series in style ER or Grey's Anatomy. An elderly couple is doing the shopping, when suddenly his heart stops pumping blood to the brain and other vital organs. It is a sudden cardiac arrest, cause of death for 300,000 people a year in the United States.

Not far away is putting in place a committed printers. Your smartphone starts to play and warns that the next shop is a man who is about to die. If you hurry, you can still save him, putting into practice what he learned about CPR. The first change is that it is neither a film nor a series, but an application for smartphone call Fire Department.

The second is that to develop it were not the usual geek in Silicon Valley, but a unique joint venture between the Fire Department of San Ramon Valley (also in California) and a handful of students of the Center for Applied Computer Science Northern Kentucky University. The life-saving app.

The application joins a series - not very long, actually - of programs designed to put technology at the service of first aid, that chain of events that may determine the survival or otherwise of a person. Unlike his colleagues, however, shifts the focus from the Fire Department with the practicality of the information dimension, speaking directly to people already possess the knowledge necessary to act competently.

The app, for now only available for iPhone and iPad, can be downloaded free from the website of the Brigade of San Ramon, or from the Apple Store. Upon installation, the program asks the user whether or not he followed a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. If the answer is affirmative, the next question is: "Are you willing to help a stranger in an emergency situation?".

With another "yes" officially joined the club of the Guardian Angels ready to intervene at any time. How it works. If the cardiac emergency occurs in a public space, the application uses GPS technology to alert the public-angels that we need an intervention of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

For each call to the public emergency aid (the equivalent of our 113), the program locates users who are in the immediate vicinity, urging them to take action in those few minutes that separate life from death. At this point the user receives two types of information: the exact location of the victim and any spatial coordinates of the nearest automatic external defibrillator (AED).

Dissemination and perspectives. Fire Department currently operates only in the San Ramon Valley, but use it are already about 40,000 people. The idea seems to those destined to grow over time: the entrepreneurial fire, in fact, are already working in cooperation with the developer of the software Workday Inc.

to create a version Android app and make it accessible to all departments Brigade U.S. fire. Meanwhile some non-profit organizations such as Civil Code and articles for America, are providing their environment to other open-source developers, thus contributing to the project in hopes of making one day a planetary instrument.

What's more, the June 20 California firefighters will be honored with the title "Laureate in 2011 for Innovation in Computer Honors Awards. A matter of seconds. Many have already hailed the new facility as the most important discovery for non-hospital cardiac emergencies after the invention of automated external defibrillators, devices capable of performing the defibrillation of the heart muscle walls of automatically recognizing whether the arrest was due to cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.

"During a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), heart function ceases abruptly and without warning signs," said Richard Price, director of the project. The heart is unable to pump blood to the brain and the rest of the body and in 90% of cases there is no escape for the victim. "When someone collapses SCA, immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of an automated external defibrillator is essential for any chance of recovery," said Price.

The figures speak for themselves: for people suffering from ventricular fibrillation, the chances of survival are overturned to 90% if defibrillation is performed in the first minute, after which the rate of those who stand it drops by 10% every minute. As for the measures through resuscitation applied by properly trained personnel, various studies have shown the ability to double or even triple survival rates of patients.

The other app for first aid. In addition to Fire Dipartment, another tool at your mobile phone created to plug the SOS is an emergency, an application developed by the American Red Cross, Dr. Mehmet Oz and medical Sharecare platform. The program, free for dispostitivi Android provides a set of instructions and protocols for more than thirty best to address the most common emergencies, the attack rate for bone fractures, with lots of videos, demonstrations and 3D animations.

Also, thanks to GPS, the application automatically sends 911 a map with geographic coordinates of the patient during the call. More information is instead focused on the dimension In Case Of Emergency (ICE), application for Blackberry and Android created by JaredCo. The program provides a comprehensive package of aid workers and medical personal data: name, contact persons, telephone numbers, blood type, allergies, contact your doctor, medications and health conditions of previous years.

A cross between the two is Pocket First Aid & CPR, app signed by the American Heart Association. In January 2010 the program saved the lives of Dan Woolley, an American who was imprisoned for 65 hours in the rubble of Port-au-Prince. He used it as a guide for dealing with injuries to his leg (with a belt) and head (with a sock), following the instructions for removing the risk of a shock.

Since then the application has been enhanced with information on infant CPR and the Heimlich maneuver known as the technique for removing an obstruction of the airways. Made in Italy. On the Italian front, a similar application was developed by the White Cross in Bolzano, CB First Aid that explains step by step (with the help of images) what to do in an emergency.

Much simpler, but no less useful, is the iPhone "Emergency", a tool that starts immediately call placed to aid more appropriate (Fire, First Aid, Police, Mountain Rescue, ACI, etc.) . They may seem small instruments, but now they have already done a lot.

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