Anybody with a cell phone camera could help make this a reality.
A group of Penn Medicine researchers is trying to build a registry of locations for automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are used to restore heart rates to their normal rhythms.
And starting in mid-January, Penn Medicine is holding a month-long contest: The person or team that finds the most AEDs during the contest period will win $10,000.
Contestants in the MyHeartMap Challenge need to install a free app on their mobile phones, then take pictures of AEDs in public places around the city. The app can tag the photos with their location and details about the device, such as its manufacturer.
Then participants send the photos and information to the research team via the app itself or the project’s web site.
Aside from the $10,000 prize, participants can also win $50 a pop for finding a few pre-designated “golden ticket” AEDs around the city.
There are about a million AEDs nationwide, but no uniform system for tracking where they are, according to a statement citing the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as its source.
Some AEDs are hung clearly on the walls in airports and casinos, some are hidden in restaurant closets and under cash registers in coffee shops. Anyone can buy the devices, but many businesses that own them don’t even know where they are.
Anyone interested in the contest can go to http://www.med.upenn.edu/myheartmap/. The free contest app will be available there for download for iPhones and Droids in January. The contest is also on Facebook and Twitter.