Five developments that could prove to be invaluable
Technology evolves at such a quick pace that often something seen as innovative one day is viewed as antiquated the next month. And while some tech seems to be superfluous (do we really need to upgrade our phones every year?), other new inventions can literally be lifesavers. Here are some of the latest developments in the world of CPR and first aid:
If there has been one piece of new technology that’s taken the world by storm in recent years, it is drones. In addition to hobbyists, many companies are starting to take advantage of drones, and we may soon see them in response to medical emergencies.
In Sweden, experiments were conducted that involved sending drones equipped with AEDs to 18 sites where people had cardiac arrests. Researchers found that it took about 20 minutes for EMS workers to arrive on the scene after getting a call. With the drones, it was only about five minutes.
Augmented reality (AR) is another new tech that has gotten a lot of buzzes lately, especially when it comes to games. But AR could also be instrumental for CPR training. The American Heart Association has developed an AR app that first surveys the area to find a good location to perform CPR. It then walks through the necessary steps for hands-only CPR, giving players scores for the rate and depth of chest compressions.
In order to keep someone alive who is experiencing cardiac arrest, chest compressions have to be continuous. But when the victim needs to be moved or perhaps an EMS worker takes over for a bystander, they can be interrupted. This is why machines utilizing a compression band or piston have been developed that administer chest compressions mechanically.
An electrocardiogram (EKG) is an excellent way to monitor heart health, but it would be impossible for people to walk around with an EKG machine. But, thanks to Kardia, they don’t have to.
Touted as “the world’s first medical-grade 30-second EKG,” this is a small card outfitted with sensors that can be linked to a mobile device. In addition to taking their own EKG, the results can be transmitted to a doctor immediately. Kardia can also identify early warnings signs of a heart attack.
Smart first aid kit
In the event of some sort of medical emergency at home or on the job, just finding the first aid kit can be a challenge. But when you do track it down, you may not have any idea what’s in there or where the important items at the moment are. This was the thought process behind the GALE smart first aid kit.
Not only are their well-organized compartments for items to help with things like cuts, burns, and bone fractures, users can get quick digital instructions on what to do. If need be, GALE can also put someone in touch with a medical professional via a video call.
All of this new tech is exciting, but it is not yet widely used and probably won’t be for a while. Until the day these advances are mainstream, it’s best to be proactive. Take a CPR class and learn how to use an AED – and be prepared to save a life now.