Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
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The Boy Scouts have a motto: Be Prepared. The Cub Scouts have one also, but it has nothing to do with being prepared, or this review. That said, iPhone users have access to thousands of apps in the app store that provide readily available expert reference and guidance regarding many different topics, allowing us (iPhone users) to always “Be Prepared.”
This is a review of Pocket CPR, an app that helps us “be prepared” to save a life in the event someone needs Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Although there are many similar apps in the app store, Pocket CPR is a training tool and is free.
Pocket CPR for iPhone “coaches” it's user through the CPR process, using clear visual and audio step-by-step instructions, as well as feedback, to guide students or trained personnel through CPR practice. The app’s description contains the following disclaimer:
NOTE: The Pocket CPR for iPhone is currently for training and practice purposes only. The application is not yet cleared by the U.S. FDA for use in an actual rescue.
The one feature that separates this CPR (training) app from others, is its use of “feedback,” explained below.
When opening Pocket CPR, two things are immediately clear:
1. There’s not much really to this app, and
2. This app is for TRAINING USE ONLY.
The “I” links to a built-in users manual. The user can configure his/her settings to define a pre-determined emergency number, which is available for use throughout the process, or start CPR, “with breathing” and “hands only.”
Both processes provide clear audio and visual instructions, allowing the user to set the iPhone down until beginning chest compressions and every instructional screen (which the user can advance through using finger swipes) contains an option to dial the pre-determined emergency number.
Prior to the user/student/trainee beginning chest compressions, he/she is instructed (via audio and visual) how to properly hold the iPhone when giving chest compressions:
The student/trainee then receives instruction on proper chest compression techniques, e.g. hand placement, etc., then the “coach” kicks in, advising the user to begin CPR:
Pocket CPR then utilizes the iPhone’s accelerometer hardware to pace chest compressions, detect the rate of actual compressions and the proper depth of those compressions (using the “Depth Gauge” and a corresponding red/green bar displayed on the screen) and notify the student to push faster, slower or remain at their current rate. This is all accompanied with/by visual and audio feedback:
After detecting 30 chest compressions, the app prompts it’s user to provide ventilations after the detection of 30 chest compressions:
The process repeats itself until it’s stopped by the user (I quit after 4 “sessions.”).
I did find it somewhat difficult (not to mention uncomfortable and precarious) to hold my iPhone in that manner while giving chest compressions. However, since this is a training app, none of that should factor into your use of the application. I also verified the accuracy of the app’s depth gauge by using a 12-inch ruler. It’s definitely accurate.
In all, if provided with the proper equipment (a CPR “dummy,” etc.) this is a good app for trained personnel and/or learning students to practice with, but I wouldn’t use it in a real-life situation. As impressive as this app is, it’s no substitute for real, proper training. If you’re looking for a detailed, instructional app for giving CPR, this is not it. It’s simply a good (free) training aid that compliments personal knowledge of the CPR process and how to perform it properly.