HeartRead Could Help Save Lives

An industrial design student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, has invented a very unique automated external defibrillator (AED) called HeartRead. The device will greatly aid people to act and help in an emergency involving someone who is experiencing a cardiac arrest.

Mariko Higaki Iwai is the inventor of HeartRead and indicates that her device is easy to use and could help save lives.

2015 James Dyson Foundation: HeartRead will greatly aid people to act and help in an emergency involving someone who is experiencing a cardiac arrest.2015 James Dyson Foundation: HeartRead will greatly aid people to act and help in an emergency involving someone who is experiencing a cardiac arrest.

“When someone suffers a cardiac event, a bystander just needs to call 911,” she says. “The operator will assign an ambulance and activate a nearby HeartRead. Bystanders can easily spot them, or a passerby can grab one and bring it to the needed location. Bystanders are guided through simple step-by-step instructions to apply. The directions emphasize analyzing the heart function to reduce bystanders’ fear and encourage them to take action.”

There is no other device like hers on the market that is wired with cutting-edge technology and which can easily be connected to 911 centers.  At present people have to search for an AED during a cardiac arrest situation and this eats up valuable time in saving a person’s life. And, most of the public does not even know how to use an AED and this is not a good thing during an emergency situation.

Iwai has spent a lot of time researching and designing HeartRead. She was also extremely active in a variety of First Aid/CPR/AED training courses that greatly helped in the development of her new invention.

“Most AEDs in the market now analyze the heart’s rhythm and only deliver shock if needed,” explains Iwai. “However, the biggest fear most people have is using the AED incorrectly and causing more harm to the victim. Even individuals trained in CPR-AED fear they might deliver an unnecessary shock.”

HeartRead is a breakthrough invention and is highlighted on the 2015 James Dyson Foundation Awards website.

“HeartRead is not another mystery box on the wall,” says Iwai. “It is half the size of the current AED, and the components are visible through the polycarbonate clear case. Being able to observe the contents clearly enables users to imagine the scenario of the AED in use. The hexagon shape makes an iconic figure on the wall, and by adding contour surfaces, HeartRead provides a calm feeling that is effective in an emergency situation.”

The device is clearly visible and audio is provided to offer instructions on how to use it. Even better is that its audio voice is calming and encouraging and will walk anyone through the emergency process with ease, despite any chaotic situation.

Iwai indicates that current AED units request pulse and breathing rates. However her device is a cut above the rest and instead analyzes the heart rhythm and decides for itself what action to take and this helps an untrained bystander.

2015 James Dyson Foundation: There is no other device like hers on the market that is wired with cutting-edge technology and which is easily connected to 911 centers.2015 James Dyson Foundation: There is no other device like hers on the market that is wired with cutting-edge technology and which is easily connected to 911 centers.
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“The priority becomes getting the pads on the chest as soon as possible,” she says. “Minimizing the choice and showcasing the analyzing function reduces the fear of doing something wrong. HeartRead changes the users’ mindset from implementing the AED to shock a person, to using it to determine if shock is necessary.”

Will HeartRead be widely utilized in the near future? The answer of course is yes. A device like this is easy to use and is sound, and most of all it could help save lives.