Want to Win $10,000 and Save Lives by Using Your Cell Phone?

Author: Kelly Porter O’Connor

Thanks to the MyHeartMap Challenge team, an interdisciplinary group of Penn researchers, behind this six week long crowd-sourcing contest — now you can!

Led by Raina Merchant, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Eric Stone, C’99, WG’07,  The My HeartMap Challenge team has developed a free app you can install on your mobile phone.

Participants will take photos and geotag these life-saving Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices to collect data for an updated app linking locations of all public AEDs in the city with a person’s GPS coordinates to help them locate the nearest AED during an emergency.

The contest is just a first step in what the Penn team hopes will grow to become a nationwide, crowd-sourced AED registry project that will put the lifesaving devices in the hands of anyone, anywhere, anytime.  The project is modeled after the DARPA Network Challenge, a crowd-sourcing experiment in which social media users raced to be the first to submit the locations of 10 moored, 8-foot, red, weather balloons at 10 fixed locations throughout the United States.

The stakes for the MyHeartMap Challenge are high: the person or team who finds the most AEDs during the contest will win $10,000, and their efforts could save lives in the critical minutes following cardiac arrest.  Many of you have probably read about recent incidents in Philadelphia where the use of an AED device has saved someone’s life.

AEDs are located all around us in plain sight –  at work, the grocery store, your Septa stop…All you have to do to participate is register online, download the app and start tagging. The contest and app launch at the end of January. With the launch close at hand, I encourage you to form a team to help kick-start this Penn based challenge, save lives and possibly win a huge chunk of change!

Check out the project’s website or friend them on Facebook to receive contest clues and learn more about the challenge and or find out more information about the value of these life-saving devices — used to restore cardiac arrest victims’ hearts to their normal rhythm.

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