Ulster University has a well-established record of accomplishment in the development of defibrillator technology. Our early work at Ulster and NIBEC on defibrillation technology was very much based on realising the vision of Professor Frank Pantridge (Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast) – pioneer of mobile coronary care. Pantridge’s vision in the 1950s was that a defibrillator should be beside every fire extinguisher.
Devices at that time were extremely large and this was mainly due to the lack of miniaturised electronic components – particularly those required to power a defibrillator and provide the electrical energy needed to produce the required shock.
Much of our early work was focused on the development of suitable technology to allow this miniaturisation to be realised. These developments, including the integration and in-house research of new flat panel displays, compact capacitors, flexible defibrillators pads, high density batteries and embedded software primarily led to a device that was suitable for transportation, in an ambulance, to a patient suspected of having a cardiac arrest.
Ultimately, however, this work provided the platform for which the modern wall mounted AED is based on. Our research has continued to optimise the technology supporting the development of world leading AED products. This has included the development of medical device grade algorithms for automated ECG analysis through to the development of new concepts in medical device user experience.