Smartwatch app to guide would-be good samaritans with CPR protocol

News reports that highlight good Samaritans who successfully revived people who suffered a heart attack are the kind of feel-good stories that make us wonder if we’d be capable of keeping it together in that stressful situation. A team of developers from France and Spain with a fondness for Star Wars developed an app for […]

News reports that highlight good Samaritans who successfully revived people who suffered a heart attack are the kind of feel-good stories that make us wonder if we’d be capable of keeping it together in that stressful situation. A team of developers from France and Spain with a fondness for Star Wars developed an app for Android Wear to make it easier to deliver CPR and alert first responders for help. It made a splash at the international Penn Apps competition this week, where it won the top prize.

The challenge of the competition is that developers have only 36 hours to develop their apps before they’re judged. Team members included Miquel Llobet, Daniel Marti, David da Silva Contin and Dario Nieuwenhius had to battle jet lag on top of the tight time frame.

Lifesaber users are walked through a protocol to determine if CPR is needed. If it is, the app provides haptic and audible feedback to help users keep their chest pushes in sync. The smartwatch app is intended to address the fact that only 30 percent of people know CPR, by the American Heart Association’s reckoning.

The app automatically dials 911 and transmits the incident location. It also makes use of MyHeartMap — an initiative that mapped out Automated External Defibrillator locations throughout Philadelphia — and alerts users to the nearest AED spots. In an interview with the Philadelphia Business Journal, Llobet said the team expects the app to be available “in upcoming weeks.”

It makes a lot of sense for these kind of instructions to be easily accessed on a smartwatch. A component that automatically alerts other users with the app seems like a time waster since one app is all that’s needed to go through the protocol.