Smart Defibrillator Locator for Cardiac Emergencies

 

A defibrillator is a portable apparatus to treat life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmias by passing an electric current through the chest wall. 

According to Prof. Charles Deakin from the European Resuscitation Council: "Statistics show that in cases of sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital, only 1 in 10 people survive. However, when bystanders provide CPR and use automated external defibrillators before emergency medical services personnel arrive as many as 4 in 10 victims survive.”

 

AED4EU (or ‘Stay Alive’ app) is a mobile application that allows its users to quickly look up the nearest available AEDs (automated external defibrillators) in the case of cardiac emergencies. The location details of available AEDs are posted by other users of the app along with their contact information.

This data is stored and accessed through the app’s embedded database. AED4EU is used with the LayAR browser (built on Augmented Reality technology) which locates and directs the user to the nearest defibrillator based on the user’s current location coordinates.

 

Another such app with similar functionality has been created by the South Central Ambulance Service in the UK.

In both cases, there is no dependency on the internet connectivity as they rely on GPS data. They come along with the necessary CPR guides explained in a simplified manner for easy use. Such apps could dramatically increase the survival rates of victims of cardiac arrest.

 

Defibrillator Drones

To take this a step further, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have taken up the challenge of delivering a defibrillator to a scene of emergency with the use of drones. They demonstrated this by having drones, each attached with a defibrillator, stationed at fire stations near Stockholm; these were then dispatched to locations where past cardiac arrests had taken place. The median arrival time of the drones was 5+minutes where as that of the ambulances, during the actual emergencies, was 22 minutes, making the drones more responsive by 16 minutes. Such kind of arrangements are yet to be established for real emergencies.

 

References: 

LayAR, Independent








What are Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Realities?

 

While the three terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, which this article attempts to address.

 

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality can be described as a digitally-generated simulation of an imaginary world to give an 'all-immersive' experience for the user. It could be an interactive experience as well.

Often available in the form of head-mounted displays, VR is typically used in computer games and entertainment like 3D movies, or for 360-degree videos which allow the users to view the video in any direction. VR is developed using the Virtual Reality Modelling Language, which is an open standard to create multi-participant interactive simulations like 3-dimensional vector graphics and web-based models.

 

Besides its use in games and entertainment media, VR can be also used for the purpose of training in a real life-like environment, such as simulators for drivers, pilots and astronauts. Virtual reality is also known to be used in 'exposure therapy' to treat patients with psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs), by exposing them to imaginary anxiety triggers.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality is a live view of the real world, super-imposed by computer-generated (CG) content such as sound, visual graphics or GPS. The super-imposed CG data does not recognize or interact with the real world content. 


AR is made available in the form of digital components in mobile devices like smart phones, laptops and tablets. You will notice AR being used while displaying score overlays in telecasted sports games.

 

The heads-up display used in military forces is another example of augmented reality, where fighter pilots at higher altitudes, use a transparent device, which when positioned appropriately displays critical data such as altitude, airspeed and the horizon line, without the need to look at the aircraft's instrumentation.

Mixed Reality (MR)

Mixed Reality, like Augmented Reality, is also a computer-generated experience, however, the virtual content is not only overlaid in a real world atmosphere but also merges with it to make it a hybrid reality. In the world of mixed reality, the digitally-generated content react and interact with the real world environment. 

Microsoft's HoloLens and Google Glass are two such mixed reality inventions that use holographic computing technology. Pokémon Go, which had recently become a phenomenon in mobile gaming is a location-based mixed reality game. MR also makes it possible for surgeons to overlay virtual ultrasound images on their patients while performing operations. 

 

So to summarize, while Virtual Reality (VR) recreates an imaginary environment for its user, Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) simply augment the real-world view by super-imposing digital content like interactive graphics and sound sensations. They are together considered one of the most evolving and sought-after technologies.

References:

Augment, Foundry








AIPoly – Visual Intelligence App for the Blind

Aipoly Vision is an invention, which uses visual recognition techniques that enable the blind or visually impaired to identify objects in their surroundings in a quick and almost real-time manner. Its colour picker capability could also be advantageous to the colour blind.  

Aipoly allows the end user to install and run its mobile application, which captures the camera’s inputs and describes it aloud to the user.

This visual intelligence platform is able to identify and recognize thousands of real world objects. It is capable of object identification(flowers, animals, fruits etc.), object description (yellow sunflower, Labrador dog, green apple etc.), action recognition (e.g. man riding a bicycle), product recognition (e.g. Coca Cola 12oz can, Heinz Baked Beanz 4pk etc.), facial recognition (with associated names) and can read out signs and posts.

 

Aipoly uses a convolutional neural network, which is a class of deep learning that is applied to analyzing visual imagery.

Their innovation team is also expected to come up with an advanced augmented reality AI version called Poly, which along with including thousands of more recognizable items, will also be able to understand and describe complex scenes around you and the position of objects within it (e.g ‘a dog near a lamp post’).

 

References:

Aipoly