Keywords: emergency response, cardiac first response, location–aware devices, mobile devices, mobile communications, ICT, agile teams, rapid response, cardiac emergencies, rural communities, cardiac arrest, heart attacks, chain of survival, social networking, information and communications technology, information technology, emergency management
Supporting the 'chain of survival': how ICT can facilitate rapid response for out–of–hospital cardiac emergencies
Sudden cardiac death is a serious public health issue throughout the Western world, especially within rural communities that cannot be quickly reached by emergency ambulance services. When a person suffers a cardiac arrest, it is vital to invoke the 'chain of survival' process, involving early access to the emergency services hotline, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced paramedic support. It is vital that this process be executed quickly and efficiently. This paper proposes ideas on how the early stages of the 'chain of survival' may potentially be enhanced and made more agile through the application of innovative ICT solutions designed in accordance with principles of interactive systems design and based on the new generation of mobile applications such as location–aware devices and social networking software.