When an App Saves a Life



A man in Seattle is lucky to be alive.


Last month, Stephen DeMont was knocked over by a heart attack. His story made the news.


Bystanders gathered around. Someone called 9-1-1. The county dispatcher receiving the call used an app called PulsePoint to send out an alert. All those with the app in proximity to the emergency were notified. One nurse, just getting off duty at a nearby hospital, responded to the alert on her smartphone. She showed up and also began helping with CPR.

The team approach to the emergency was just enough to revive the man until he could be assisted and stabilized by first responders and then brought to the hospital.

The city of Seattle now is calling for the general public to download the app so situations like these become the norm and not the exception. One doesn’t need to be a medical professional, but only qualified in basic CPR as a citizen responder. They’ve stated that they’d like 15,000 members of the public to be on PulsePoint.



(Aerial view of PulsePoint users at sporting event / @TCasady304)

In the past 2 years in Seattle, 4,000 people have downloaded the app. So far, two known incidents of lifesaving have relied on this crowdsourcing tech solution. That seems to be enough to justify further proliferation of the app.

Recent studies have shown that when a heart attack victim receives assistance within 2 minutes their survival rate triples. Paramedics normally arrive within 5 – 10 minutes. This means that regular citizen bystanders are invaluable in saving lives when the clock is ticking. In fact, the Tokyo Japan Fire Department has reportedly sought to pay the general population to become assistant responders just for this reason.

You too can be a citizen responder. Just download the app.

A new era of public safety is showing the potential of app-assisted first response. The future of 9-1-1 and smartphones are changing and PulsePoint is part of the solution.