PulsePoint initiative receives national recognition

Pulse Point App

The UF Health team behind the local PulsePoint Respond mobile app initiative, which aims to increase the survival rate from cardiac arrest in the Gainesville community, has received national recognition for its creative and effective marketing approach. 

The PulsePoint community launch team received a bronze award for excellence in its category as part of the 2020 Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA) Awards for Excellence presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The annual peer-reviewed competition honors creative and effective approaches to promote academic medicine through alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and public affairs/community relations programs and projects.  

PulsePoint Respond was launched locally in 2018 thanks to funding from the Jerome H. Modell, MD, Professorship of Anesthesiology. Professor Nikolaus Gravenstein, MD, of the Department of Anesthesiology, and Torben Becker, MD, PhD, of the Department of Emergency Medicine collaborated with several agencies, including the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Alachua County Fire Rescue, and Gainesville Fire Rescue, to activate the app through the county’s 911 system.  

PulsePoint task force
UF Health Communications task force partners: Styliana Resvania, Tyler Francischine, Megan Kimmel MacPherson, Rossana Passaniti, Karen Dooley (not pictured: Marsha Mott)

UF Health Communications assembled a task force, which includes physicians, nurses, and staff, to promote CPR and the PulsePoint Respond smartphone app by working alongside first responders.

The goal is to double the survival rate from cardiac arrest in the Gainesville community through the app, which alerts users when a cardiac emergency occurs nearby. The app also promotes the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) by indicating the location of the nearest one.  

The primary objective in the first year was to build a community of PulsePoint users in the greater Gainesville area. UF Health Communications leveraged an array of public relations tools to manage and promote PulsePoint activities, doing so without a departmental home or marketing budget.

Their efforts have paid off in widespread awareness as measured by substantial user downloads in the first year. For the time period covered by the award season, the Alachua County PulsePoint app attracted 2,347 new downloads, well over the original goal of 2,000.

The team said the experience of learning about the disparity in bystander CPR and AED use rates in Alachua County led them to fine tune their communications strategy to target areas where health outcomes could be significantly improved.  

pulsepoint respond app

“We remain committed to promoting this valuable program, which, if successful, has the potential to double the survival rate from out-of-hospital cardia arrests,” said Karen Dooley, director of communications for the UF College of Medicine.

Download PulsePoint here or visit the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.