By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The city and county want to improve the area’s life-saving abilities with a smartphone app.

“To get people past that critical first stage, in being able to utilize what has already become what Pittsburgh is known for: technology and medicine,” says Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

It’s called “Pulse Point,” activated by calling 911.

It will notify you where emergencies are and if help is needed.

“It will page ‘CPR needed,’ it will tell you where it is in relation to where you are. And it will show you the AED that are in the area, too,” says Dr. Lenny Weiss, an emergency medicine physician with UPMC. “They follow their GPS, and they see a gentleman on the track not breathing. They initiate CPR.”

If you have this app, you could save a life.

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“It allows us to use technology, which we’re really good at in this region, to access the great medical training we have here,” says County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The idea is to improve the earliest steps in emergency care, before first responders arrive, because you, as a bystander, may actually be the very first responders.

It will show you how to do CPR with an audible timekeeper to pace compressions.

It will show you how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

Councilman Dan Gilman is introducing legislation to register and map AEDs across the region.

The set up costs are funded by the Hillman Foundation. The University of Pittsburgh will analyze the follow up data.

Everyone in the area, in the medical field or not, can download the app.

And that is what Dr. Weiss hopes. “I’d like to have even one life saved by this app in our community, and then many many more.”

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