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Using a mobile app and mobile workforce to validate data about emergency public health resources
  1. Anna Marie Chang1,
  2. Alison C Leung2,
  3. Olivia Saynisch2,
  4. Heather Griffis2,
  5. Shawndra Hill3,
  6. John C Hershey3,
  7. Lance B Becker2,
  8. David A Asch3,
  9. Ariel Seidman4,
  10. Raina Martha Merchant2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  4. 4Gigwalk, San Francisco, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Raina Martha Merchant, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; raina.merchant{at}


Background Social media and mobile applications that allow people to work anywhere are changing the way people can contribute and collaborate.

Objective We sought to determine the feasibility of using mobile workforce technology to validate the locations of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), an emergency public health resource.

Methods We piloted the use of a mobile workforce application, to verify the location of 40 AEDs in Philadelphia county. AEDs were pre-identified in public locations for baseline data. The task of locating AEDs was posted online for a mobile workforce from October 2011 to January 2012. Participants were required to submit a mobile phone photo of AEDs and descriptions of the location.

Results Thirty-five of the 40 AEDs were identified within the study period. Most, 91% (32/35) of the submitted AED photo information was confirmed project baseline data. Participants also provided additional data such as business hours and other nearby AEDs.

Conclusions It is feasible to engage a mobile workforce to complete health research-related tasks. Participants were able to validate information about emergency public health resources.

  • cardiac arrest
  • research, methods

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