Here’s an iPhone application that could actually help people save lives. Zoll Medical, a maker of cardiac defibrillators and other products for the critical care market, says this morning that it has released a CPR training app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
This isn’t the first iPhone app of this sort that I’ve seen—but it’s certainly the most advanced. Chelmsford, MA-based Zoll’s (NASDAQ:ZOLL) “PocketCPR” training app gives users visual and audio instructions on proper CPR technique, and the software makes use of the accelerometer built into iPhones to measure the rate of a person’s hand movements when he or she is performing simulated compressions on manikins. The app is selling for $5.99. (For free, iPhone users can download an app called iCPR, but it doesn’t make use of the accelerometer to provide real-time feedback on how well the user is performing CPR.)
There are way too many iPhone apps for us to cover each individual launch, but the CPR training apps are an important category because they address a major health problem. The American Heart Association estimates that about 294,851 Americans per year receive emergency medical treatment for heart attacks, and multiple sources estimate that there are more than 300,000 deaths from cardiac arrest in the U.S. each year. According to Zoll, 70 percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest when they are with family members or acquaintances. It’s too bad most Americans aren’t properly trained to perform the potentially lifesaving measure.
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