Studies: App Could Raise CPR Delivery, Cardiac Arrest Survival Rate

June 24, 2015 in News

A mobile application could increase cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, delivery  and survival rates among people having a cardiac arrest, according to two recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Washington Post‘s “To Your Health” reports.

Details of Studies

The studies, conducted in Sweden, examined out-of-hospital cardiac arrests between Jan. 1, 1990, and Dec. 31, 2011. Researchers also recruited about 10,000 CPR-trained volunteers to participate in the mobile app program.

The “on-call” app pulled information from 911 dispatchers to identify individuals experiencing a cardiac arrest event. The app then used GPS to identify volunteers who were about 1,600 feet from the individual and alerted them to the incident via a text message or automated call.


Overall, the researchers found the app significantly increased the rate of bystanders initiating CPR.

Specifically, they found that:

  • 48% of cardiac arrest victims received CPR in cases when the app was not used; and
  • 62% of cardiac arrest victims received CPR when the app was activated.

In addition, the studies found that survival rates beyond 30 days increased to 10.5% when a bystander performed CPR, compared with a rate of 4% among individuals who did not receive CPR before emergency responders arrived.

Jacob Hollenberg, a study co-author and associate professor at Karolinska Institutet, said the researchers “want to spread” use of the app and “loo[k] for international cooperation if possible” (Gebelhoff, “To Your Health,” Washington Post, 6/23).

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