Digital resuscitation tool provides life-saving care assistance during medical emergencies

Digital resuscitation tool provides life-saving care assistance during medical emergencies

The American Heart Association and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have collaborated in the development and launch of a new digital health application for front-line health care workers.

The American Heart Association Adult Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) app offers bedside access to key resources, such as access to ACLS algorithms for correct administration and timing of CPR, defibrillation shocks and drug dosages to assist clinicians in responding to life-threatening cardiac emergencies.

The app is a blend of the Association’s resuscitation science and MGH’s innovative technology to provide a quick reference tool designed to assist those physicians and other medical personnel treating someone in cardiac arrest or other arrythmias.

Developed by the MGH Healthcare Transformation Lab, the app assists health care workers trained in directing a “code”—or a medical emergency in which a patient’s heart has stopped beating—and provides pathways, easy-to-read timers and logging tools to help bring coding patients back to life.

In the challenging situations of ACLS care, stress is high. ACLS care is strictly protocolized with guidelines to carefully follow to ensure best clinical outcomes. Clinicians need an efficient and effective way to reference these guidelines, as well as keep track of the timing of interventions.

“Life-saving care just got a burst of digital momentum,” says Jared Conley, MD, Ph.D., MPH, co-creator of the app and associate director of the MGH Healthcare Transformation Lab. “When seconds matter, doctors and nurses can now better leverage digital tools to enhance the quality of life-saving care.”

The collaboration represents a shared desire from both the Association and MGH to accelerate the spread of this digital content to the hands of as many clinicians delivering life-saving care as possible. Evidence suggests that digital health tools can make healthcare more effective, accessible and efficient.

All ACLS content in the app was provided by the Association and follows the most recent resuscitation science published in the 2020 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and ECC.

“Our app is like a checklist for saving a life. It has been used to run codes more effectively, and more confidently, at the bedside,” says Andrew Chu, MD, co-creator of the app and recent innovation fellow at MGH Healthcare Transformation Lab. “It improves the care we give our patients, and we hope this rapidly accessible, digital resource is of great use to all our clinician colleagues from around the world.”

“The Association has a rich history of working closely with the cardiologists and neurologists of Massachusetts General Hospital,” said John Meiners, chief of mission aligned businesses and healthcare solutions for the American Heart Association. “One of the original founders of the American Heart Association nearly 100 years ago was Paul Dudley White of the MGH. We are excited to continue this evolving and innovative path to a resource that can benefit so many care teams and improve the quality of care.”

An initial MGH-version of the app originally launched in September 2020, and over the course of two years, it has attracted an international user base spanning more than 53,000 clinicians around the world.

The new AHA ACLS app is now available for download for iOS users and will be available by the end of the year for Android users.

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