Science Market Update

University of Pennsylvania Crowd-Sources Map of Philadelphia AEDs

Posted by Jennifer Nieuwkerk on Thu, Mar 08, 2012

Led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the six-week MyHeartMap Challenge is a trial science research project that uses crowd-sourcing to locate and gather information about automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in Philadelphia. The challenge runs from January 31 to March 13, during which time participants can use a free app on their iPhones or Android phones to take pictures and document the location of publicly accessible AEDs in Philadelphia.

In the past ten years, the number of AEDs in public places has increased dramatically. Delivering electric shocks, the devices can save lives when used in the first few minutes after someone falls victim to cardiac arrest. Despite their effectiveness and relative ubiquity, however, there exists no complete map of AEDs available to the public. The result is that witnesses to cardiac arrests don’t know there might be an AED close by, and the devices aren’t used when needed.

Automatic External Defibrillator

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

According to an article from PRWeb, contestants in the MyHeartMap Challenge can participate as individuals or as teams. Whichever individual or team identifies the most AEDs will win $10,000. Other participants may win $50 if they are the first to submit the location of one of the specially assigned “golden” AEDs, the number of which the MyHeartMap Challenge creators say could be anywhere from 20 to 200. Data amassed from the project will be used to generate an updated record of locations of all public AEDs in Philadelphia. The finished program will also use a person’s GPS coordinates to facilitate locating an AED in an emergency. Collaborating with faculty from the University of Washington, the science research team from the University of Pennsylvania hopes that the contest will become a nation-wide challenge.

Azavea, the software development company who designed the app, has won awards for their geospatial analysis programs in the past. The company is a certified B Corporation that uses geographic information and technology to support the development of more active, sustainable communitites.

perelman school of medicine

John Morgan Building at University of Pennsylvania

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania will use data gathered from the MyHeartMap Challenge for a study assessing AED mapping and database development. The ingenuity of this program comes from a team of science research and health professionals who are committed to protecting people in medical emergencies and breaking boundaries in theory and practice. This diverse team of researchers has pooled their individual talents to create a framework for challenging the Philadelphia community to expand the knowledge and use of crucial life-saving devices. By embracing the effectiveness of new media, they are devoting a significant effort toward an important public health issue.  

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Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service science research marketing and events-planning company that produces tradeshows at top research universities nationwide. If you are a scientist or lab supplier looking to network at the University of Pennsylvania, we encourage you to learn more about our annual tradeshow by clicking the button above. To view a complete list of our national tradeshows, check out our 2012 schedule.

Tags: Pennsylvania, Northeast, University of Pennsylvania, cardiovascular research, heart disease, crowdsourcing, Philadelphia, BioResearch Product Faire Event, science research, innovative solution, BRPF, MyHeartMap Challenge

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