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.
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.