Local Newcastle teenager recognised for award winning Heartbeat Hero app

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Local Newcastle teenager, Aiden Forrest, 17 has been awarded as one of the 50 distinguished winners of the next generation of developers.

Local Newcastle teenager, Aiden Forrest, 17 has been awarded as one of the 50 distinguished winners of the next generation of developers, creators, and entrepreneurs Swift Student Challenge, supported by Apple.

Recognised for his outstanding submission ‘Heartbeat Hero’ – an accessible CPR training app inspired by his firefighter uncle – Aiden is just one of two UK winners from the challenge, which received thousands of entries globally.

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Aiden will be joining Apple in California for a once in a lifetime experience at the world conference, WWDC 2024 where he will showcase his newly built app to millions and receive a one-year membership to the Apple Developer Program.

Aiden ForrestAiden Forrest
Aiden Forrest

Aiden is encouraging other locals to follow their passions, quoting “This inspired me and made me realise how important it was to learn CPR, which gave me the idea for Heartbeat Hero hoping that even 5 minutes of interactive learning could potentially save someone’s life."

Aiden has shared his story by revealing I decided to learn to code during the 2020 pandemic lockdown when my school closed and I taught myself to code mainly by watching YouTube tutorials and following along to build fun little projects like quiz apps.

My Swift Playground, Heartbeat Hero, is designed to be an easy to use and accessible CPR training application designed to be an interactive method of learning to perform CPR on both children and adults. I wanted the experience to not only be educational, but memorable and interactive. I wanted to really try and replicate the actual experience of performing CPR by measuring the depth and rhythm of presses or claps using tools like ARKit and AVFoundation to bring this to life.

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I got the idea from my uncle who is a firefighter and a few weeks before the applications opened, he told me about how he recently saved someone’s life by performing CPR on them until an ambulance could arrive. This inspired me and made me realise how important it was to learn CPR, which gave me the idea for Heartbeat Hero hoping that even 5 minutes of interactive learning could potentially save someone’s life.

With help from my family and friends I was able to test the app to make sure that it was simple to use and effective enough to be a viable tool to learn the correct technique for CPR.