Smartphone first responder dispatch system to be rolled out in all Helsinki


Smartphone first responder dispatching is becoming a vital tool for emergency medical services who aim to shorten time to CPR and increase survival after cardiac arrest. Now, with a grant from a Danish Fund, it has become possible to adapt, test and document the FirstAED system in a large scale project in all of Helsinki.

In most areas of Europe survival after cardiac arrest is below 10%. The survival rate has been improved over the last 15 years, but only recently has the aspect of first responder smartphone dispatch been introduced, and the technology shows good prospects.

It is a well-known fact that the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest decreases by 10% per minute if nothing is done. But if a patient is treated with basic life support CPR and shocked with an AED within the first 5-6 minutes, the chance of survival to normal life increases dramatically.

”We already have a survival rate after cardiac arrest of 26.7 % in Helsinki, but based on the findings in international research and the experiences from the Langeland Project in Denmark, we aim to increase survival to an even higher level with FirstAED”, says Maaret Castrén, Professor at Karolinska Institute & Head of The Department of Emergency Medicine and Services at Helsinki University Hospital. “We will be working with Finnish Emergency Response Centre Administration and the Finnish Red Cross first responders to show that help nearby can make the difference between life and death, and to show that anybody who can perform basic life support and use an AED can help save a life”.

The smartphone based FirstAED system that will be adopted in Helsinki was invented in 2011, and has since been operated in a rural area in Denmark with more than 1,200 alarm calls until now. After implementation of FirstAED, response time to CPR was reduced by 50% to 04:09 minutes in a rural area, which is documented in an official publication by the Region of Southern Denmark – and this has saved lives.

”We’re very proud of the results we have achieved together with the Langeland AED Association first responders, but it is in a relatively small geographical area, and many question if it would work in a larger and in an urban area. Therefore, we’re extremely happy to have received the grant from the Danish Market Development Fund that makes the Helsinki Project possible. We hope we can repeat the results from Langeland, and show that smartphone first responder dispatching really does save lives”, says Per Schorling from FirstAED.

The Finnish Red Cross first responders will be the users of the app, and be called on scene when there is a cardiac arrest. Emergency Response Manager Leena Kämäräinen is anticipating a good reception by the first responders:

”In the Red Cross we aim to work with ambitious people, and the ambition here is quite high. Our volunteer first responders are looking forward to being called out in an organized and structured manner, when they are in the vicinity and can make a difference”.

The project runs over a total period of 2 years, and the results are validated officially by Maaret Castrén in co-operation with the Odense University Hospital. ”I’ve been following FirstAED closely since spring 2012, and must say I’ve been impressed. I look forward to heading up the team that will make the research paradigm and evaluate the results, and I truly hope that the results from Langeland can be repeated in Helsinki”, says Maaret Castrén.


In Langeland in Denmark, FirstAED has had around 1,200 alarms over the last three years, where first responders from the Langeland AED Association have been called on scene. In 89.1% of the calls, 3 first responders have arrived on the scene and an AED has been brought on site in 99% of calls. Mean response time to first person on-site has been 04:09 minutes, and the AED has arrived on-site in 05:47 minutes. FirstAED is the only technology in the world that uses a structured and organized dispatch algorithm for first responders and which logs a wide range of data for quality documentation and research purposes.

Further information

Per Schorling Partner, FirstAED ( mobile: +45 2332 5825)

Return to Products menu