Wednesday, September 21, 2011

high tech, high touch, high value

What do you get when you combine AEDs, smart phones, 911 and a heart attack victim? Quite possibly a life saved.

At a conference loaded with tech people (in San Fran) and heard of an amazing example of how some very high tech can save lives.

Newer AEDs are apparently idiot-proof. They audibly talk the user through the process, know exactly how much and when to give electrical shocks and even if the person shouldn't get a shock.

So where's the weak link? Many people don't know what AEDs are and even those who do may not know where they are or how to find them in various locations. I guess many public places are now required to have them.

How do these (AEDs, smart phones, 911 and a heart attack victim) get connected again?

911 gets call about possible heart attack. 911 of course dispatches emergency personnel. But what about the intervening 5 - 7 minutes (average response time)? 911 pushes out an alert to anyone with a smart phone that can be geo-located nearby the victim. In that alert is information to help locate the victim and the nearest AED.

The receiver needs the app for the service to work. I heard not too long ago about concerns over the geo-locating capabilities of the iPhone raising some privacy concerns from users. I guess people would have to put those concerns aside in order for this new tech to work.

This is not pie-in-the-sky. A CA Fire Dept. & County are already using it.

I'm not a smart phone user (yet) but I'd sure buy this app if it were available in my area. Things like this move so fast it likely won't be long.

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