AEDs have come a long way since they were first introduced over two decades ago. Dr. Arch Diack of Seattle created the first functioning automated external defibrillator around 1980. His work was based around almost a century of research and innovation surrounding defibrillators. (You can read more about this early history in one of our previous posts.) Over the past two decades, great strides have been made making AEDs lighter, smaller, and generally more accessible for use. Initially, AEDs were geared towards EMTs and other healthcare professionals; however, in 1994 the American Heart Association convened to encourage the use of AEDs in public access environments. Over the past decade, the AHA, the FDA, and AED manufacturers have worked together to produce and approve defibrillator models that are easy to use for lay people. We are at an exciting point in the history of improving outcomes for cardiac arrest patients with a recent wave of pro-AED legislation. As awareness and technology increase, the potential role of AEDs in society have few bounds. Below, we present two new exciting developments for the future of AEDs.
First up, the PulsePoint Foundation has developed an amazing mobile app that links users to AED locations and nearby CPR trained individuals. Communities who choose to work with PulsePoint create a map documenting all AEDs in the vicinit . The PulsePoint app also allows users to create a notification when someone suffers cardiac arrest. Registered users in the area who are CPR certified are notified to this incident and provided with the exact location allowing them to spring to action.
Earlier this week, Forbes reported another exciting technological development. Dr. Christian Assad is in the process of developing an app for Google Glass– the wearable and interactive technology being designed by Google. Dr. Assad’s app, called CPRGLASS, will guide lay rescuers through step-by-step CPR instructions while notifying emergency services. This application has many potential future uses, including sharing information instantly with EMTs en route to the scene.
Google Glass and other interactive technology will no doubt help improve outcomes for cardiac arrest patients. We know that quick defibrillation and resuscitation are the keys to survival, and these technologies will cut down on the time a patient goes without care. At AED.com, we know every second counts during cardiac arrest, and we are excited to continue to promote and provide the best AED equipment available.