Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance talking to delegates at a stall at Arab Health 2017 on Monday. Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Philips at Arab Health 2017 to introduce a new app this year to make the city completely heart-safe by preventing deaths due to cardiac attacks. It may be recalled that the Heart Safest City Project was launched during the Dubai Health Forum held in the first week of January and the signing of the MoU marks the formal agreement to introduce the special life-saving protocol in the city.

The app, developed by Philips, is already in operation in Copenhagen and Seattle and will be introduced in the city to save up to 65 per cent of people suffering SCA (Sudden Cardiac Arrest).

An SCA occurs when an individual’s heart unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. The SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes. Generally, the survival rate after SCA is only 5 to 10 per cent but with the app being introduced this year, the rate will go up to 60 per cent, it is estimated.

According to figures of the World Health Organisation, more people worldwide die of heart diseases (most common being myocardial infarctions or heart attacks) yearly than due to any other cause. In 2004, 17.4 million deaths occurred due to cardiovascular disease; this figure is predicted to rise to 23.6 million by 2030.

The app will be made available for download by the public too, as it will be provided for trained personnel across domains.

Philips CEO Arjen Radder explained how the bilingual app would work: “As of now, we aim to train 100,000 people in providing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Then we will integrate the police, ambulance services, CPR-trained professionals and some other personnel. As soon as a person experiences a SCA, the app will show the nearest CPR trained professional and also the nearest defibrillator. We intend to add about 10,000 defibrillators in public places. At the same time, the Dubai Police, Ambulance and the Emergency Room will be notified. Once the CPR is administered and defibrillator deployed, the paramedics in the ambulance will rush to the rescue, conduct an ECG and immediately transmit to the ER room at a hospital which will prepare to receive the patient and also know in advance if the patient will need emergency surgery. With the signing of the MoU, we will begin immediately and hope to reach perfection by 2020.”