Hancock County officials unveil app to help those suffering from heart attacks

GREENFIELD, Ind. — It’s like Uber for CPR! At least that’s how Hancock County officials are describing the “PulsePoint” app they unveiled on Wednesday.

PulsePoint is a free app that alerts people trained in CPR when someone nearby suffers sudden cardiac arrest. The app was brought to Hancock County as the result of a partnership between Hancock Health, Hancock County 911 Center and Emergency Medical Services leaders.

“We are going to save lives here in Hancock County with this new technology,” Hancock Health ER physician Stephanie Gardner said.

Hancock County 911 Center Director John Jokantas says PulsePoint works by sending an alert to a CPR certified person that has the app, and is within a quarter mile radius of a 911 call for somebody experiencing cardiac arrest.

The 911 Center will send the alerts at the same time they dispatch first responders to the scene. Jokantas says the goal of the app is to help get people lifesaving CPR during the precious minutes before first responders arrive.

The app also lets users know where the closest available automated external defibrillator is.

“Our goal is to get people the help that they need. If we can get them that help rapidly, even faster than we’re doing it now, then we’ve won,” he said.

The American Heart Association estimates that CPR provided immediately after a cardiac emergency can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. An estimated 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital setting in the United States each year.

“Your chance of survival decreases 10 percent every minute that you go un-aided, so it’s really those first few minutes that are going to make a difference,” Stephanie Gardner said.

While the app has the potential to save people’s lives, Gardner says it will only as effective as the number of CPR certified people that sign up for it.

In the coming weeks, both county and hospital officials say they plan on launching a social media campaign to get people to sign up.

“We want everybody to be involved in our community and the health of our community,” John Jokantas said.

For more information on Hancock County’s PulsePoint app, you can visit here.

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