A digital map of all the available defibrillators in the UK could soon be available thanks to a partnership between a number of organisations.
NHS England, NHS Scotland, Microsoft and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) will work together over the next 12 months to develop a comprehensive digital network of defibrillators across the UK that can be used by ambulance services.
The move is part of a coordinated effort between the BHF and health organisations to increase the application of CPR and defibrillation to patients, so improving the UK’s currently poor cardiac arrest survival rates.
The map will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud, which will act as the ‘backbone’ of the network.
Clare Barclay, chief operating officer at Microsoft UK, said: “This innovative partnership could quickly equip 999 call handlers with information that could mean the difference between life and death for someone suffering a cardiac arrest.
“The impact of this project could be huge, but it’s just a small indication of the life-saving difference that innovative partnerships like this could make to the health of the nation.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service will be the first trusts to trial the network before it is eventually rolled out across the UK.
NHS England’s national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “Preventing heart failure and other cardiovascular illness is a priority for the NHS 10 year plan. This innovative partnership will help people in every part of the country to access life-saving equipment, and will support NHS staff and the public when attempting to save the lives of the 30,000 people each year who suffer cardiac arrest out of hospital.”
The map is not the only piece of new technology being piloted by ambulance trusts.
In May 2018, Digital Health News reported on how Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and Great North Air Ambulance Service are currently both testing an app that allows them to view patients via video before crews arrive on site.