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JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2017 May 17;5(5):e63. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.6926.

North American Public Opinion Survey on the Acceptability of Crowdsourcing Basic Life Support for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest With the PulsePoint Mobile Phone App.

Author information

Rescu, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
School of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.



The PulsePoint Respond app is a novel system that can be implemented in emergency dispatch centers to crowdsource basic life support (BLS) for patients with cardiac arrest and facilitate bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator use while first responders are en route.


The aim of this study was to conduct a North American survey to evaluate the public perception of the above-mentioned strategy, including acceptability and willingness to respond to alerts.


We designed a Web-based survey administered by IPSOS Reid, an established external polling vendor. Sampling was designed to ensure broad representation using recent census statistics.


A total of 2415 survey responses were analyzed (1106 from Canada and 1309 from the United States). It was found that 98.37% (1088/1106) of Canadians and 96% (1259/1309) of Americans had no objections to PulsePoint being implemented in their community; 84.27% (932/1106) of Canadians and 55.61% (728/1309) of Americans said they would download the app to become a potential responder to cardiac arrest, respectively. Among Canadians, those who said they were likely to download PulsePoint were also more likely to have ever had CPR training (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2-2.4; P=.002); however, this was not true of American respondents (OR 1.0, 95% CI 0.79-1.3; P=.88). When asked to imagine themselves as a cardiac arrest victim, 95.39% (1055/1106) of Canadians and 92.44% (1210/1309) of Americans had no objections to receiving crowdsourced help in a public setting; 88.79% (982/1106) of Canadians and 84.87% (1111/1309) of Americans also had no objections to receiving help in a private setting, respectively. The most common concern identified with respect to PulsePoint implementation was a responder's lack of ability, training, or access to proper equipment in a public setting.


The North American public finds the concept of crowdsourcing BLS for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to be acceptable. It demonstrates willingness to respond to PulsePoint CPR notifications and to accept help from others alerted by the app if they themselves suffered a cardiac arrest.


North America; PulsePoint; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; sudden cardiac death; surveys and questionnaires

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