CPR Buddy by Divide by Zero Software is an iPhone app that assists users with proper technique and timing for performing CPR compressions. Most of us traditionally think of CPR as a combination of breathing and compression, however research shows that in most cases compression is enough to increase someone’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. Based on this information, the idea of having an app like CPR Buddy on your iPhone makes total sense to us.
Ok, so how does it work? Well, when you open CPR Buddy you’re presented with an options menu. You can choose between instructions on what to do when you notice someone experiencing a cardiac arrest, or you can choose between audio and visual queues for performing respiratory arrest CPR (compression + breath) or for cardiac arrest CPR (compression only). When performing respiratory CPR a rapidly beating red heart (iPhone vibrates) signifies when you should compress the chest of the victim followed by a rapidly beating green heart that signifies when you should perform rescue breaths.
CPR Buddy is an app concept that we fully support. We definitely believe that everyone, whether they’re CPR certified or not, would benefit from having CPR instructions on their iPhone. That being said we think there are some tweaks that should be done to make CPR Buddy more user friendly and easier to follow. We’d like to see a hot button or link so users can dial 911 from within the app. We’d also like to see the compression and breathing queues integrated into the visual instructions. Currently, when you view and read the instructions you then have to exit to the main menu in order to access the CPR audio and visual queues. We’re not sure that’s a logical workflow, and feel that it could be confusing for someone in a panic situation. It is our opinion that for CPR Buddy to be affective a user has to be able to open it, dial 911 with no effort, and be able to begin performing CPR or instructing someone how to perform CPR, with little thinking required. We like and support the concept, however we’re not convinced the app is ready for prime time yet.