Skip to Main Content

PulsePoint Mobile App

PulsePoint Mobile App

PulsePoint Photo with AEDAvailable in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls

PulsePoint is the technology advancement that will further enhance cardiac survivability by engaging every day citizens willing and able to perform CPR, and when available, the use of a Public Access Defibrillators (AED).

With the use of this Global Positioning System (GPS) powered iPhone and Android App, community members can be notified when life-saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest is needed. This notification only occurs when the incident is in a public place and will also indicate where the nearest Public Access Defibrillator (AED) is located.

Early intervention during sudden cardiac arrests will make that lifesaving difference in our goal to improve survivability. It also can save time by increasing awareness of automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) locations through real-time mapping of nearby devices.

To install the PulsePoint app search PulsePoint in the appropriate online store. Read more below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PulsePoint?

What is PulsePoint?

The PulsePoint Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose goal is to make it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life saving skills to do just that… save lives! Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local Fire Departments, EMS agencies, and Police Departments to improve communications with citizens and empower them to help reduce the estimated 1,000,000 worldwide annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest.

How does the app work?

How does the app work?

The application has three primary components – the mobile app, a middle tier web service, and a dispatch system interface. The mobile app is provided and maintained by PulsePoint Foundation. The app is currently available for the iPhone, iOS device platform and Android devices. The software (on each platform) supports all agencies using the app. A configuration screen within the app allows users to select their desired agency or agencies.

The app is connected to a cloud-based web service that manages communications between the personal mobile devices and the Brown County and Minnehaha County 911 emergency communication centers, The service provides encrypted communication and secure identification (HTTPS with SSL/TLS protocol) to connected agencies within a highly reliable environment. This service is also provided by the PulsePoint Foundation.

Minnehaha 911 center communicates with the middle tier service through an application programming interface (API). An API is simply a set of rules and specifications that software programs can follow to communicate with each other. The PulsePoint API serves as an interface between Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) systems and PulsePoint services.

Does the app raise any privacy or HIPAA concerns?

Does the app raise any privacy or HIPAA concerns?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information. On a ‘CPR needed’ notification, the app reports only an address (in a public place) and a business name, if available. Individually identifiable health information, such as name, birth date, or Social Security Number are not reported or known to the PulsePoint application.

The PulsePoint app is a Location-Based Service (LBS) with the ability to make use of the geographical position of your mobile device. The LBS capabilities of the app allow you to see your current location relative to the incidents occurring around you. This is an optional feature that is not enabled by default – you must specially opt-in to utilize this functionality. In addition, if you opt-in to the CPR/AED notification, the PulsePoint server will store your current location for immediate reference during an emergency where you may be nearby. In this case, only the current location of your device is stored (no movement history is maintained) and your identity is never known to the PulsePoint application.

Is there any risk that the app will draw too many bystanders to the emergency medical scene?

Is there any risk that the app will draw too many bystanders to the emergency medical scene?

Only about one quarter of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims receive bystander CPR, and public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are used less than 3% of the time when needed and available. The current situation is far too few bystander rescuers – not too many. The goal of the app is to engage additional bystanders in these lifesaving acts. If this was to truly materialize in the future it would be a major success and the footprint of the notification could be reduced.

The app aims to notify those essentially within walking distance of the event location. However, this distance has been configured to a radius of one half mile by the SFFR. Higher population densities usually warrant a smaller notification radius. Likewise, a rural area with longer local government response times may choose to notify over a broader area.

How big is the notification radius for CPR/AED events?

How big is the notification radius for CPR/AED events?

The app aims to notify those essentially within walking distance of the event location. However, this distance has been configured to a radius of one half mile by the SFFR. Higher population densities usually warrant a smaller notification radius. Likewise, a rural area with longer local government response times may choose to notify over a broader area.

How is the app funded?

How is this app funded?

Through the PulsePoint Foundation, there is no charge for the app or any supporting materials. There is, however, a cost to interface with the 911 provider in each community. The Avera Heart Hospital and Avera St. Luke's Hospital determined that this was the next logical step in providing citizen based assistance in a cardiac event, and will underwrite the cost of the interface.

Could the app make a CPR/AED notification when CPR isn’t needed?

Could the app make a CPR/AED notification when CPR isn’t needed?

Yes. With dispatchers making rapid over-the-telephone assessments of patients based on the observations of untrained callers, an incorrect determination can be made. For example, such a situation could occur with someone who has just had a grand mal seizure, passed out from too much alcohol, or has a very high blood sugar. However, if you tried to do CPR on such an individual he or she would probably moan and possibly even try to push you away. Also, an AED would not deliver a shock to a person in any condition where an effective heartbeat was present.