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IoT Network Puts Defibrillator Management in Hands of Suppliers

With CardiLink's Medtech AED device-monitoring system, using Asavie IoT Connect, makers and suppliers of life-saving equipment can help customers manage the location and condition of each item automatically.
By Claire Swedberg

According to a 2011 report from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, more than 1,000 deaths from cardiac arrest were connected to the failed functionality of an AED—and about a quarter of those failures involved a dead battery. Problems involving pads and connectors accounted for another quarter. Those responsible for ensuring the devices are in good working order physically check them on an annual basis, Wassermann says; they should also conduct visual checks daily or weekly, according to manufacturer requirements. However, there is little digital trail indicating whether any particular device requires maintenance, or if a battery has died.

Manufacturers or supplies of AEDs have little role in the management of these devices. "Historically," Wassermann says, "once there's a sale to a hospital or campus, that's the end of the engagement" for the manufacturer. CardiLink's service is intended to address this problem, he explains.

The solution consists of a sensor with a SIM card that runs on the Asavie private network for cellular-based IoT connectivity. The sensor device can be built into the AED at the point of manufacture. Its built-in GPS unit provides the device's location as it is mounted in a public place or at a facility. The sensor can detect whether movement has occurred, and geofencing functionality allows users to set up parameters regarding how far that device can move. If it crosses outside the threshold, an alert can be transmitted to the manufacturer, as well as to the company that deployed the AED.

Because the device continues to measure its GPS location and transmit its status, its location can be detected, even if the AED is stolen. The sensor device can detect whether the AED has been opened, which would indicate that it is being used, and that information can be forwarded to the designated party via the Asavie network. The system can also issue an alert when an AED needs to be serviced, based on the date of the last service, or on use.

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