Azavea Game Could Save Your Life

Azavea has developed a Web app and two Web applications for the University of Pennsylvania’s MyHeartMap Challenge.  The contest combines crowdsourcing and geospatial analysis (GIS) software to locate and map out the location of automated electronic defibralators (AED) across Philadelphia.  The Penn Medicine’s MyHeartMap engages the public to contribute as much information as possible about publicly accessible AEDs by geocoding photographs taken of the devices and recording information about manufacture and model number.

“Though almost non-existent a decade ago, automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are now all around us, in airports, schools, gyms, and workplaces. These devices can save lives as they deliver electric shocks to victims of cardiac arrests. This is most effective in the first minutes after someone collapses. Yet, there is no comprehensive map of such devices available to the public. As a result, AEDs are often not used when they are most needed either because witnesses of a cardiac arrest incident do not know there might be an AED close by or that they should be looking for one.”

Participation in the challenge is free and the apps are free to download.  The mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices (camera required).  Groups or individuals will compete for the most AEDs spotted.  The individual or group to find the most AEDs will take home a prize of $10,000. $50 prizes will be awarded to participants who are the first to identify one of a few “golden” AEDs as designated by the MyHeartMap team.  The MyHeartMap team has only released an estimate of the total number of AEDs to be between 20 and 200. The challenge is open to the public and ends March 27, 2012.

“The project is part of a larger ongoing collaboration between faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington and is modeled after the DARPA Network Challenge, a crowd-sourcing experiment in which social media users raced to be the first to submit the locations of 10 moored, 8-foot, red, weather balloons at 10 fixed locations throughout the United States. It is the team’s hope that this challenge will lead to a nation-wide contest.”

Gamification and geospatial analysis combined with a smartphone could one day save your life.  As of this writing, the Philly MyHeartMap Challenge reports 80 out of 200 “golden” AEDs have been submitted.  If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you can still join the program.