University graduate redesigns the defibrillator – hoping to save thousands of people’s lives
The death of a friend inspired a university graduate to redesign the defibrillator – which is hoped will save the lives of thousands of people across the world.
Emma Hartley wanted to make the lifesaving device more portable and simple to use so those without formal training would be able to access it in remote locations should an emergency arise.
The 24-year-old was spurred on to create the Pulse AED, a new automated external defibrillator, after her friend Jannik Lam died suddenly at the age of 21 in 2015.
Jannik went into cardiac arrest after doing hill sprints in the Park estate. He was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre, where doctors tried to revive him for an hour and a half, but he couldn’t be saved.
Emma, of West Bridgford, said: “He passed away about one week into the project. It started out as something I was doing for university but it some become much more than that.
“Jannik’s death highlighted a very specific social need and a gap in the market. Having to use a defibrillator is stressful as people are often grey, sweating and gasping for breath. I wanted to make that experience as simple as possible.”
When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their heart stops pumping blood around their body and they can die within minutes without treatment.For every minute, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 percent – however a bystander can double a person’s chances of survival by giving immediate CPR and defibrillation.
Emma created the concept for the new defibrillator while studying product design at the University of Nottingham.It hoped the device, the design of which is currently still top secret, will be sold at around £100, compared to those currently on the market for about £1,200.
She said: “My parents live in rural Nottinghamshire, in West Leake. A defibrillator was installed in the village and people kept asking why there was a first aid kit on the wall of a pub.”At that moment I realised that we needed to get defibrillators more recognised. The one I have designed gives step-by-step instructions, it half the size of normal ones and is 70 percent lighter. “It’s also a lot more affordable, which is really important to me because I want as many people to have access to them as possible to save even more lives.”
Emma was awarded more than £20,000 to develop the product after winning the Ingenuity17 annual entrepreneurship competition, for current University of Nottingham students and alumni.
Over 600 entrants from the university’s campuses in Nottingham, Malaysia and China entered the competition, which asked people to put forward innovative business ideas.
It is hoped the new defibrillator, which is being developed at the G2 Innovation Group, based in the Lace Market, will be ready within the next two years.
Emma, who works in product design at the company, said: “It’s absolutely amazing. It means I can start developing the product and the electronics inside of it to get it market ready.”
The company works with a range of businesses at all stages of design and development.
Managing director David Eilbeck said: “We’re delighted that Emma’s AED project has been recognised with these awards.”It’s a product with huge potential, both commercially and also more importantly to save lives. We’re lucky to have a talented designer like Emma in the team and pleased to be able to support her developing and launching this product.”
Sara Askew, head of survival at the British Heart Foundation, said: “In the UK more than 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital every year but less than one in ten survive.
“More lives could be saved if more people were confident performing CPR and more defibrillators were available in public places.”The use of a defibrillator could be the difference between life and death and the BHF is on a mission to create a Nation of Lifesavers, where everyone has the skills and confidence to save a life by learning vital CPR skills and by making public access defibrillators more readily available across the UK.”
Source Nottingham Post