Trust consultant and team win award for life-saving app

A consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, together with a graduate from Imperial College, have won a prestigious national award after they developed an app designed to alert off-duty doctors, nurses, paramedics and others trained in first aid to cardiac arrests occurring near them.

Professor Mark Wilson, a consultant neurosurgeon at the Trust, helped pioneer GoodSAM, which is now integrated with the London Ambulance Service and is activated 20-30 times a day in the capital alone.

Along with cloud architect and co-founder Ali Ghorbangholi, Professor Wilson and the GoodSAM team have now been awarded the Groundbreaking Pioneer or Discovery award in The Sun Who Cares Wins health awards.

“The idea behind GoodSAM is to get trained help to people suffering cardiac arrest as quickly as possible,” explained Professor Wilson.

“Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are widely available in stations and around high streets, and so our app links emergency services to vetted, trained people who are able to rapidly use these devices and administer high quality CPR. Our GoodSAM community have mapped over 40,000 AEDs.”

The secure app, first invented in 2014, now has a community of nearly 50,000 responders, and has partnered with more than 80 health organisations worldwide.

The system’s features allow first responders to communicate with each other and ambulance teams while they are en route by radio and instant video.

In its latest version, the app - which stands for Smartphone Activated Medics - also allows vital statistics to be relayed to paramedics, via the smartphone’s camera, in order to ensure the patient receives the best possible care as quickly as possible.

Professor Wilson and Mr Ghorbangholi were presented with the award on Monday 8 October at a special ceremony attended by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Speaking at the event, Mrs May said: “The winners represent the very best of our NHS – they have shown care, compassion and professionalism, and I want to say thank you to them.”

Professor Wilson added: “It’s a great privilege for Ali and I to win the award. GoodSAM has been a real success and is now being used across the world, but we feel it’s only the beginning.

“Our new tool, which gives us the ability to securely access information from 999 callers’ mobile phone cameras remotely, is set to revolutionise how we triage patients and deploy pre-hospital care”.

“I know from my work at the Trust how important those first moments after a cardiac arrest can be. GoodSAM is all about making sure patients get expert support as quickly as possible while ambulance crews are on the way.”