The NHS in England and Scotland is teaming up with the British Heart Foundation and Microsoft solutions provider, New Signature, to develop a network of defibrillators across the UK.
Over the next 12 months the partnership hopes to map all of the UK’s defibrillators, with the intention of making them available for ambulance services to use in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
The move is part of a strategy to improve the UK’s poor cardiac arrest survival rates by increasing the application of CPR and defibrillation to patients, and improving post-resuscitation care.
There are over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, but fewer than 1 in 10 people survive. Figures that show public access defibrillators are used in under three per cent of cases.
The network will be piloted by West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service, before being rolled out nationwide.
The national defibrillator network will launch in spring 2019 when defibrillator owners will be able to register their defibrillator onto the network through their local ambulance service.