Trust consultant creates app to alert first responders to local emergencies

A neurosurgery consultant at Imperial College NHS Trust has developed an app to save lives by alerting trained first aiders to emergencies in their vicinity.

Through the GoodSAM app, developed by Mr Mark Wilson, trained first responders such as off duty doctors, nurses, fire-fighters, paramedics, police officers and medical students can register to be alerted to incidents in their surrounding area and could be on scene within minutes.  With a built-in ‘Defibrilocator’ function, app users can also easily identify public access defibrillators.

In an emergency, seconds count.  Opening an airway and basic life-support can save lives if done quickly enough.  On average there are 5,000 medical emergencies each day in London and across the city there are thousands of trained individuals who could provide immediate assistance while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

Mr Wilson said: “If a patient has a cardiac arrest or a traumatic head injury, it is the first few minutes after the incident that determine the outcome – life, death, or long-term brain injury. But in this time frame, we could never employ enough paramedics to be on scene in seconds, hence we need to alert people with the skills in the surrounding few hundred metres.

“GoodSAM can revolutionise our ability to get to the patient immediately and improve outcomes by harnessing the community for the benefit of the community. Effectively what the app does is enable someone to shout for help, really loudly – even through walls - so the anaesthetist in the book shop knows that the man in the coffee shop next door is having a cardiac arrest.

“In London, you are probably never more than 200 metres from someone trained in basic or advanced life support. If these people can be harnessed, they really can make the difference in those early few minutes and seconds.”

The app has been developed by Mr Wilson who also works as a doctor for London’s Air Ambulance, with technical developer Ali Ghobangholi and graphics designer Ali Haddad. London’s Air Ambulance is helping GoodSAM to recruit Good Samaritans and alerters in London.  The charity delivers an advanced trauma team to the some of the most critically injured people in London.  Its clinicians understand the need for early intervention within minutes of an injury occurring to improve patient outcomes.

For more information visit the GoodSAM app website.