Putting Trust at the Heart of CardiLink’s Defibrillator Monitoring Service

Mark Lambe

Last week on global restart a heart day Asavie and CardiLink, a pioneer in Medtech device monitoring announced how CardiLink is leveraging Asavie IoT Connect™ to securely monitor and maintain fleets of Automated External Defibrillator devices (AED) deployed in public spaces and corporate campuses. The CardiLink cloud platform provides AED owners and manufacturers with critical insights into the operational effectiveness of their device estates.

You can read the press release here: https://www.asavie.com/cardilink-saves-lives-with-secure-iot-connectivity-from-asavie-for-connected-defibrillators/

The announcement last week made me realize that we’ve become so accustomed to technology, that many of us never stop to notice everyday devices, such as AEDs, that have the potential to save lives. Fortunately for many of us AEDs typically sit unattended and unused for months or even years.

Therein lies the problem; While AEDs are largely unattended devices, they do require regular maintenance. The challenge is that the person who may have been responsible for equipping the business/sports hall/public space with an AED will not be there every day to assess the operational state of the AED.

For those of you unfamiliar with these devices the key thing to understand is that these devices, like every other machine have a certain rate of failure, and most importantly, when AEDs require attention they cannot be ignored. This is different from when a car engine warning light flashes, then you can decide to ignore or when your PC pops up with a “Run Updates” message you can choose the “Later” option.

However, when AEDs require maintenance it cannot be ignored. As you are running the risk the machine will not work when you need it. However, if no one is checking on the status of the machine, how can we be sure it will work when we need it?

Reusing the car and PC analogy, unless you have a vested interest or are in the driver seat the flashing lights and chirps of the AED tend to go unnoticed. The fact is that these signals mean the AED has potentially failed and is only observed as having done so when someone truly needs it. Sadly, the crushing truth is that AED failures lead to deaths.

This is where CardiLink’s cloud-based software platform offers a solution. It captures, stores and analyzes data regarding each AED. The technology can then be used to alert service personnel, provide schedules for maintenance or inspection, and inform security if an AED leaves the area.

CardiLink CEO Lars Wassermann, whom Asavie has been working with for over a year now, is championing the eradication of these unnecessary deaths by creating a secure service dedicated to monitoring AEDs, which he is making available to all AED manufacturers.

Lars and CardiLink’s vision for resilient remote monitoring of AEDs, is not just about secure data collection, the bigger picture is to use the data efficiently to create automated notifications to the whole AED ownership chain from AED manufacturer to end-owner. This effectively eliminates the manual monitoring of AEDs by a single individual. Or in tech speak eliminates the single point of failure from both a human and machine perspective.

On the journey with Lars I learned quite a bit, from how important AEDs are to local communities and the devastating impact failures can have. In fact, regulations in many parts of the world are requiring that companies provide a history of their AED maintenance.

For example, here in the EU we will see new regulations and guidelines being enforced in 2020. The very nature of the AED means they are comprehensive in their details > https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2017/745/oj

The Medical Device Regulation mandates that manufacturers proactively gather for the lifetime of the AED data about their devices operational status and analyze them for any anomalies and/or suspicions. This is where CardiLink and Asavie step in and offers this via a “as-a-service” model to manufacturers, which significantly reduces the effort for the manufacturer when producing new devices but most importantly offers a way in which to retro-fit units in the field today.

Clearly knowing the tight regulations and scrutiny the solution would undergo, our approach was to simply keep it private.  Which means that in the architecture phase the solution is on Asavie’s private network and that the AED never appears on the public Internet. With further security basics and layered defenses Asavie provides CardiLink with a highly secure and reliable network in which CardiLink can be assured the device is shielded from cyberattacks.

If you’re interested in further reading and stories on AEDs, check out the following links:

CardiLink Adopts Asavie IoT Connect to Monitor Cardiac Devices (Medical Device Network, October 16, 2018)

Cloud Platform Used with Defibrillators with Aim of Saving Lives and Protecting Data (Med Tech Innovation News, October 16, 2018)