Life-Saving Smartphone App Launches in Pittsburgh

By: Madison Brunner


Through a partnership with UPMC, every city of Pittsburgh employee will be trained in CPR by the end of 2016. This summer, Pittsburgh city councilman Dan Gilman announced a comprehensive plan to get people the life-changing care they need in the shortest time possible.

The councilman has three goals for the residents of Pittsburgh – get more people trained in CPR, inform everyone on the location of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), and launch a new smartphone application called PulsePoint, a lifesaving app that allows anyone in cardiac arrest to get the help they need until an ambulance arrives.

“Many times bystanders are the first responders, said Lenny Weiss, M.D., UPMC emergency medicine physician. “If you do not get a sustainable heart rate within four to eight minutes after the heart stops, the patient can suffer irreversible brain damage.”

City employees will train community groups and other city departments. Additionally, the councilman has introduced legislation requiring the registration of all AEDs with the city of Pittsburgh to verify locations and ensure they are fully operational. The registry will enable 911 operators to tell callers where they can find the nearest AED.  PulsePoint, Gilman’s third initiative, is activated by calling 911 and alerts bystanders who have the PulsePoint app, telling them when and where they are needed in an emergency situation. Anyone who in close proximity who is trained in CPR can help a person in cardiac arrest.

The city of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Henry Hillman Foundation and UPMC have all partnered to implement the use of the PulsePoint in the area.

Pittsburgh residents are encouraged to download the PulsePoint app, as well as learn CPR and how to use an AED. People can also help find and tag the AEDs by visiting