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Penn Medicine Contest Challenges Philadelphians to Help Save Lives With Their Cell Phones
Date:12/10/2011

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of Penn Medicine researchers is set to save lives with cell phone cameras -- and they're challenging the public to help. The MyHeartMap Challenge, a month-long contest slated to take place beginning in mid January, will send thousands of Philadelphians to the streets and to social media sites to locate as many automated external defibrillators (AEDs) as they can. 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.

Armed with a free app installed on their mobile phones, contest participants will snap pictures of the lifesaving devices -- which are used to restore cardiac arrest victims' hearts to their normal rhythm - wherever they find them in public places around the city. Participants will use the app to geotag the photos with their location and details about the device like its manufacturer. Then, they'll send them to the research team via the app itself or the project's web site. The data collected will be used to create 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 stakes are high: The person or team who finds the most AEDs during the contest will win $10,000, and the fruits of their efforts could save lives in the critical minutes following cardiac arrest. Participants who find various pre-located "golden ticket" AEDs around the city will also win $50 for identifying each of those devices." 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.

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SOURCE Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
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