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

em, AEDs are not subject to regulations that would allow their makers to know where or when their devices are being used. Instead, anyone can buy the devices (they cost about $1,500), and there's no uniform system to track their location. A grateful cardiac arrest survivor, for instance, might buy one for their gym to keep on hand -- but if no one at the gym knows where it is, or that it's in the building at all, it can't be counted on in an emergency.

My HeartMap Challenge participants can register as individuals or teams, and the Penn researchers suggest participants develop creative ways to maximize their chances of winning. If, for instance, a team can figure out how to use their social networks via Twitter and Facebook to engage people who work in public locations in Philadelphia to take photos of AEDs, the team could win $10,000 dollars without even leaving their desks. These "virtual teams" could prove to be faster and more efficient than any individual working alone. Participants can also organize AED scavenger hunts or mini-contests to locate all the AEDs in a workplace building, or compete against friends to see who can find the most devices.

The multi-disciplinary project combines the expertise of investigators from Penn's Center for Resuscitation Science, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, the Wharton School, the Cartography Modeling Lab, and the Organizational Dynamics Program, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The Penn team is also collaborating with resuscitation scientists at the University of Washington and crowdsourcing experts at MIT.

The free contest app will be available for download for iPhones and Droids on the MyHeartMap Challenge web site in January. The researchers encourage participants to start strategizing and forming teams now so they can be first out of the gate to win.

For more information about the contest, please visit: http://www.med
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SOURCE Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
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