Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) kills over 350,000 people every single year in the U.S. alone. It is the leading cause of death for adults over the age of 40 as well as the loss of nearly 23,000 youth annually. Despite being a massive public health issue, survival rates have unfortunately remained dismal at around 10% for decades.
Fortunately, a life-saving shock from an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a life-saving intervention. If used quickly, an AED can be highly effective.
However, the problem is that AEDs costs thousands of dollars, not readily accessible, not easy to locate, and too often don't get to the people who need them. Avive is on a mission to change that.
With each passing minute prior to treatment reducing a victim's chance of survival by 7%, an AED's accessibility, design, and usability makes the difference between life and death. Our strategic design collaboration with Avive focused on developing a first-of-its-kind connected AED system. In addition to a standard AED's capabilities, the Avive Connect AED™ is a relatively low-cost, portable device that, when spread across a community, acts as a mesh-network of coverage enabling support to any individual within the radius of that network. When activated, the 911-linked network of AEDs and local responders are alerted to find the closest AED to the victim. Once an AED is activated, it provides diagnosis and instruction to both professional and pedestrian users supporting a victim of sudden cardiac arrest.
With more accessible AEDs to untrained community bystanders, how might AEDs be usable by anyone? Avive Connect AEDs are the first AEDs to use both a screen and audio guides designed to shorten the time to shock and provide a sense of calm during an otherwise stressful situation.
To test the usability of our design, we measured a simple metric - Time-to-Shock - the measure of time from when the AED is activated to when treatment is delivered to the victim. We ran multiple rounds of in-person research, inviting participants with no prior Emergency Response knowledge to test non-functioning AED prototypes on a CPR dummy. This research was foundational in understanding the initial shock experienced by bystanders, hesitancy to take first steps, confusion surrounding the location of the AED pads, and key gaps in addressing mistakes or missing instructions. After each round of research, we made iterations to the physical AED interactions, the audio design, and the on-screen animations.
By the end of our research run, and following the design improvements needed, we were able to cut down average Time-to-Shock from over 4 minutes with many failures to shock, to under 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Avive has since raised a $22M Series A to support the national rollout of its rapid-response technology. A recent partnership with industry-leader RapidSOS allows Avive to seamlessly connect with 911 Emergency Communication Centers, enabling 911 tele-communicators to dispatch Avive Connect AEDs by audibly alerting community bystanders with a device in close proximity to a victim's location to navigate to the location of the emergency.
Avive packs first of its kind capabilities, and the most advanced features in the industry into a smaller, more intuitive, and more affordable connected device. The Avive Connect AED™ sets a new standard for what should be expected of an AED— direct yet approachable experience during treatment, seamless transfer of valuable incident data to 911, EMS, and medical professionals at the right time, and automated remote monitoring to ensure your fleet of devices is ready to save a life.
The final design of the Avive Connect AED addresses these standards of portability, accessibility, and usability:
- The simple, communicative, and modern industrial design of Avive creates a new class of AEDs fit for our modern public spaces. The soft form and color of Avive is familiar and friendly, inspiring confidence to users in handling the AVIVE AED during such stressful experience.
- A grippy perimeter helps users keep hold of the AED and frames the first point of interaction; the emergency pull-tab. The metaphor of emergency pull tab is integrated into both the physical and digital interactions. We explored many different architectures to initiate treatment, searching for the balance of seriousness with approachability.
- Bold on-screen animations were designed to be high contrast, pictograms with cyclical animations that could be viewed peripherally when audio instructions were not enough.
- We embraced tougher subjects like what to do if a woman wearing a bra needs defibrillation: designs and audio instructions are explicit about cutting through clothing to ensure safe and effective delivery of shock.
Avive is changing the paradigm of response to cardiac arrest emergencies by building a connected platform that empowers bystanders within communities to help and facilitates closer collaboration with emergency responders and healthcare providers. How are they doing this? Avive has developed an innovative rapid-response program called the 4-Minute City.
The 4-minute city includes strategic placement of Avive's affordable AEDs throughout a city or county and use of its connected platform coupled with community training. By raising awareness and educating the public about OHCA (Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest) emergencies, Avive prepares citizens to step up when it matters most to deliver early intervention for cardiac arrest. Avive is providing an equitable solution in communities where there are often significant disparities in outcomes based on socioeconomic status, race, age and other factors.
Avive's versatile platform is designed to meet the needs of everyone. From protecting your home or office, to Fortune 500 enterprises and municipalities, Avive makes owning, using, and managing AEDs simple and affordable. While existing AEDs can require significant training and thousands of dollars of investment, the Avive AED's simple on-device instructions and low cost make it easily accessible by individuals and institutions of all sizes.