Reframing the Problem of Poor Survival following Sudden Cardiac Arrest

One health-related research project, which began in 2008, addresses the complex problem of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) survival. Read more about the projects and scientific papers that have resulted from this project.

Following a comprehensive review of the literature over the past four decades which showed that following SCA in the United States, the overall survival rate has remained approximately 8%, we posed this question: "Why after 40 years of enormous energy and resources is the SCA survival rate low, very low—too low? Are we doing the 'right' things?" Colleagues Dr. Allan Braslow and Frank Poliafico joined the project as did Dr. Lance Becker who had recently come to the University of Pennsylvania to direct the Penn Center for Resuscitation Science. From this a new framework, a new way to think about SCA survival was proposed which attracted Dr. Vinay Nadkarni from Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Fortune Top 10 Company AED Marketing Project

A summary paper of this research is in preparation.

For this global organization, we were asked to research the characteristics of selling/distributing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the commercial and organizational environment/market (separate from hospital and home markets). Specifically, the project was to address the complex problem of the design and development of a practical method and decision tool for determining optimal AED deployment, configuration and organizational preparation. The overriding benefit of optimized deployment is that AEDs will become more quickly available for use in the treatment of SCA. While the project included the traditional scientific and research methods for gathering and evaluating information, it applied a systems thinking framework and design methodologies and tools including the situation awareness model. The outcomes included a more accurate understanding of the forces the contributed to purchasing and using AEDs and a better understanding of how to improve sales and deployment.

AED Crowdsourcing Project: My HeartMap Challenge

Here is the project team. Here is the published paper.

AEDs can be used easily by untrained laypeople. However, AED effectiveness is extremely time dependent, and presently, in a crisis no comprehensive geographic map of these devices exists to help bystanders find and use them. In this project we created an accurate, easily accessible map of AEDs within the city of Philadelphia that could help people locate an AED in an emergency, either directly through smart phone applications (apps) or through communication with map-equipped 911 emergency responders.

AEDs in the Workplace Guideline Project

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) required a national guideline that could be available for any workplace to help plan for and implement an AED/CPR program. Using the academic literature and input from governmental, non-profit and for profit organizations as well as extensive interviews with training companies, and other user-stakeholders, a national guideline document was published and distributed globally.