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How This Inexpensive, Connected Device Can Save Countless Lives

03 Aug 2021
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Ludovico Fassati

Head of IoT, Vodafone Americas

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a global health crisis. Approximately 17.9 million people die from cardiovascular diseases each year and 40-50% of those are from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

SCA occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops beating regularly, causing blood to stop flowing to the brain and vital organs. There can be warning signs, such as chest pain or nausea. Others simply faint and are rendered unconscious. Without immediate treatment, survival rates are extremely low.

There is a solution that can save lives from SCA. It also costs less than €595, can connect to emergency services via our network, and can be used by anyone.

An AED in every home and office

To improve the mortality rates for SCA, all homes, offices, and public spaces must have working, Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs. AEDs are lightweight devices that deliver an electric shock through the chest to the heart. They are remarkably effective and will not shock unless the victim needs it.

A study of marathon runners found proximity to an AED matters: The athletes had a hundred percent survivability from SCA when shocks were delivered within 2.2 minutes.

While the study focused on runners, the reality is an estimated 80 percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home so everyone could be at risk without a nearby defibrillator. Current survival rates around the world are less than 1%.

“Connected” counts

That’s where Elliot, an Automated External Defibrillator, by the US Medtech startup HeartHero comes in.

HeartHero’s Elliot is the only AED in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology (the prestigious institution has even invested in HeartHero) and was deemed one of the greatest innovations of 2020 by Popular Science.

Elliot’s attainable cost and small size are not the only things that set it apart. Elliot’s connectivity is cutting edge: our Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity means it’s regularly monitored for its readiness. Connectivity also means it can communicate with first responders.

When you put the HeartHero Elliot pads on the patient, it analyses the heart rhythm and then gathers information through an AI algorithm. If the system recognises an urgent issue, Elliot automatically delivers a shock. Elliot will not deliver a shock if one is not needed.

Because of its onboard connectivity via our network in over 100 countries, the device will be able to provide the GPS location of the patient and auto-notify emergency services (currently only available in select countries, with plans for global expansion), while relaying critical lifesaving information to dispatch and the hospital.

Due to this partnership, we are able enhance and shorten the chain of survival.

Global connectivity is the vital link.  As Anthony Verdeja, VP of Global Sales and Strategy at HeartHero told me, “With Vodafone’s worldwide connectivity, you can take this device anywhere — you can fly to the Maldives, vacation in Paris, or attend a family reunion in Kansas City.”

Using IoT means Elliot should be readily available

AEDs require regular monitoring: Is the battery charged? How are the pads? An automatically monitored device running on IoT means office managers can manage a thousand Elliots all over the globe using an app. It also means a family can view a network of their loved ones’ AEDs for extra peace of mind that Elliot will be ready when needed.

The remote monitoring removes a major stumbling block for the workplace because regulations and concerns about legal liability have made corporations reluctant to have an AED on hand.

I’m excited to work with HeartHero and its dedicated staff. For Verdeja, AEDs are a life mission.

I’ve met many survivors over the years. They often say, ‘It’s not so much that I’m alive — it’s the fact that because I survived, I was there to teach my daughter to drive. I could attend my kids’ high school graduations or celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary.’

These are moments in time that these people now have, thanks to AEDs. More people have a right to be there for their families, too. We need to make AEDs much more commonplace in the world, and I’m glad we can help.

Discover more about the impact IoT is having in the healthcare industry and the latest technology helping fight heart disease.

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