Formed by private investors with medical background, technical experts, and Karolinska Institutet innovations AB.

Our story

Early a gloomy November morning one of the founders, now a professor in cardiology, sat on the bus to work but something delayed departure. The bus was filled with frustrated commuters and confusion arose but eventually the bus took off, and an ambulance rushed to a stop behind it.

Later, it turned out that a woman had collapsed from a cardiac arrest at the bus stop and died while the bus was standing still. Confronted with the fact that he had been so close to a cardiac arrest victim – but completely unaware that his lifesaving skills were needed – an idea was born. He thought: there has to be a way to let people know when their help is needed nearby.

In 2007, the simple but ingenious idea was realized, to use cellphones to alert skilled volunteers to cardiac arrests, and encourage them to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before ambulance arrives.

Idea of the year 2007

Service of the year 2012

In 2007 the idea was awarded “Idea of the year” by Dagens Medicin in Sweden 2007 and later awarded “Service of the year” in 2012.


In late 2008, the outlines of a scientific project took form. The idea was to increase the rate of bystander CPR by alerting volunteers using text messages and to prove the value with a randomized controlled trial.

The scientific project started in Stockholm County in 2009 and in 2014 it was completed. The results showed a significant increase in bystander CPR rate in the cases where volunteer lifesavers were alerted and the results was published in New England Journal of Medicine 2015.

The results showed a significant increase in bystander CPR rate.

Firmly rooted in science, the Heartrunner system is currently supporting two research projects, one in Sweden and one in Denmark. The primary outcome is to evaluate AED use with the Heartrunner app.

In November 2018 12 month data from Copenhagen, presented at AHA in Chicago, showed a threefold increase of bystander defibrillation and volunteers Heartrunners are on scene before ambulance in 40% of the cases.