the lectern banner

By Steve Kelman

Blog archive

A public/private partnership that is saving lives

Nokia Windows Phone

Mobile phones are key to Stockholm's innovative system for saving cardiac arrest victims by adding ordinary citizens to the emergency-response mix.

While spending time in Stockholm recently, I read an amazing, inspiring article in Sweden's leading newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, about an app that teams the public with health professionals to save the lives of people who fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest.

When a person goes into cardiac arrest, the survival rate decreases by 10 percent for each minute the person is not treated. Statistically, most cases of arrest occur in crowded places.

The cardiac arrest team at Sodersjukhuset, one of Stockholm's largest hospitals, decided to get the public involved in treating these cases. Volunteers can get trained in quick interventions for cardiac arrest (they sign up for training online). Once trained, volunteers are tied into the city's GIS-based system that alerts police, fire and ambulance units about the presence of any nearby cardiac arrest patient.

What this system does is include the real-time locations of all volunteers, based on information from their smart phones, so that the volunteer nearest to where the cardiac arrest occurs is also informed, by text message, of the victim's location. Because help can come from nearby volunteers as well as from police or emergency responders who might be farther away, it becomes more likely that the victim will be reached in time.

Ten years ago, Stockholm's survival rate for cardiac arrest patients was 3 percent. Last year, it was up to 10.9 percent.

The system is an example of the public/private cooperation of the future. A government-run alarm system is at the core, along with government police and firefighters, but individual members of the public have the opportunity -- in a very dramatic way -- to participate directly in a public purpose.

The idea came from doctors at the government-run hospital, and developing the system (and training volunteers) is supported by the Stockholm County Council (which runs the health care system), the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation (a private charity) and companies that manufacture heart-restarter machines. A huge-hats off to Dr. Marten Rosenqvist of Sodersjukhuset, one of the leaders who developed this idea. He will never need to wonder what he accomplished in his life.

And for the rest of us, the challenge is to develop more approaches that use government resources in combination with individual or private-organization initiatives. I will be writing about both the potentials and the pitfalls of public/private partnerships in some upcoming posts.

Posted on Oct 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM


The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 Chuck Brooks Washington, DC

Private public partnerships are becoming even more critical and budgets shrink, programs are consolidated, and the world becomes more interconnected. They key for any successful partnership is to make it scalable, automate and assimilate, and always improve. Strengthening the public/private partnership through open collaboration, best practices, and shared research and development will help accelerate the innovation we need to meet our challenges in health care and other areas too.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above