Jakob Jakobsen, Sune Nordentoft Lauritsen, Michael Avngaard, Flemming Hansen
The CAAL project addresses a significant societal problem: sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). More than 70% of all cases of SCA in Europe happen outside of hospitals; only 5% of the victims survive, amounting to around half a million deaths each year.
When someone is struck by SCA, time is of the essence. The probability of survival decreases rapidly in the first few minutes, making the speed of the first emergency response absolutely critical. T his is why publicly accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been placed in locations large numbers of people pass by or spend time in. Fast access to AEDs can increase survival in 75% of all cases of SCA. However, in order for public access to AEDs to be of optimal value, the nearest AEDs must be brought to the scene of emergency as rapidly as possible – even if their location is not known. This is the problem the CAAL project seeks to address.
The CAAL solution comprises two key elements:
- A technology package that is added to existing AEDs or integrated into new AEDs and contains – among other units – an advanced GPS / GLONASS / Galileo-based navigation unit
- A mobile communication and database system that is integrated with emergency services
The novel combination of these elements makes it possible to significantly reduce the time between detection of a sudden cardiac arrest and treatment with an AED.
The global commercial market for A EDs in 2010 is on the order of €1 billion. It is expected to grow by more than 10% annually in the coming years. The CAAL project is targeting the primary AED market segment: the institutional market that buys publicly accessible AEDs.
The value proposition of CAAL involves a very significant functional advantage: It facilitates a more rapid emergency response with AEDs, thus increasing the chances of saving lives. If the average response time for out-of-hospital SCAs is reduced by just one minute, more than 50,000 lives could be saved in Europe every year.