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Ireland’s first Sigfox defibrillator cabinet installed in DCU Alpha

In 2015, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) identified nearly 1,000 defibrillators in Ireland that could fail in an emergency because of outstanding maintenance issues, but the introduction of the AIVIA Sigfox-connected cabinet will help ensure these life-saving units are ready to go when they’re most needed.

Ireland’s first Sigfox-enabled defibrillator cabinet was installed in DCU Alpha (Dublin City University’s innovation campus) on 7th November 2016, and will ensure the AED (automated external defibrillator) is in working order without the need for regular visual checks, allowing for more timely and efficient maintenance.

Normally, devices need to be regularly checked in person to ensure there are no maintenance alerts on the screen, but the AIVIA monitoring case, designed by Pyrescom, instead uses an optical sensor. This allows the cabinet to send an alert as soon as there is a change in the status of the cabinet, rather than relying on in-person visual checks, which can be forgotten or leave the case out of order for a period of time before the next inspection.

Pyrescom and other companies also make cabinets that communicate via wifi or cellular connectivity. Cellular is more expensive, and both options mean that the cases have to have hardwired electricity because of the energy requirements of those connectivity options. An electrician was required for the installation process.

With the introduction of low-power, affordable Sigfox connectivity, Pyrescom was able to switch indoor cabinets to battery power, which lasts about three years. Installation is now a simple matter of mounting the unit on the wall, with no need for professional help. The cabinet has its own power and doesn’t feed off the battery of the AED itself, ensuring the device is always ready for a life-threatening emergency. If there are any maintenance or battery notifications on the screen, the cabinet will immediately send an alert. It also sends a notification about the status of its own battery once per week.

While this was the first Sigfox-connected cabinet installed in Ireland, there are more than 150,000 AIVIA cabinets worldwide.

In Ireland, the distributor for AIVIA cabinets is Heartsafety Solutions.