The Surprising Use Case of AED Location Tracking

Let’s be honest: Most public access AEDs are stationary for the vast majority of their lifespan. Or even better said: they are in their intended location, as they should be. At CardiLink this is referred to as the home location of the AED. In some cases, home location may also refer to a moving target, e.g. inside a public bus, on a ferry or in a first responder’s bag pack. One might add on board a drone, but that is for another post. In our vision, the home location was always the starting point; accessible and ready, with 24/7 location tracking. Or so we thought.

One can imagine several cases of an AED is actually being moved: Theft and vandalism come to mind or service, as well as maintenance and repair. There was also the case of a very diligent cleaner lifting the AED every week at almost the exact same time to dust it off unknowing that this action triggered a series of notifications. Of course, this was followed up and inspected each time, but the AED seemingly had never moved. That one took a while to figure it out.

Next to these cases, there is the event that an AED is taken to a patient. That’s when it counts: At CardiLink, as soon as the accelerometer registers movement a notification that the AED at that location is moving, goes, out (with its accompanying dataset). The intention is for you to get ready, tie your shoes and grab your coat and by the time you are at the door the first breadcrumbs have been dropped and you can follow the GPS location of the moving AED on your phone. If the AED is activated, you will get a notification and all cellular communication is turned off immediately. How that is accomplished makes for another blog post.

So what is the surprising use case?

It happens after the actual event. When the patient has been taken to hospital. In our experience the ambulance services never take the AED with them, but always leave it on site. We have seen and supported our partners in many such cases where residents have taken the left-behind AEDs to their garage or into their homes. It is best practice to have contact information written on the AED for cases like this.

Still, for the person that is responsible for servicing and installing the used AED again the search for it can be tedious. That’s where AED location tracking helps you to find the device easily: You can simply ring at the right door, as you are following the location on the map. Our new GPS ping feature will help you further.

What are your experiences and best practices ? Have you ever searched for an AED which was not at its intended home location? What has helped you find it again?

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