If you saw someone collapse and lose consciousness, you would likely call 911, and if they weren't breathing and didn't have a pulse, you might also know to start CPR while you waited for help to arrive. But would you know where to look for an automated external defibrillator (AED)? The answer to this public health challenge may soon be "yes" thanks to a new design initiative sponsored by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from
Launching today at
"It is critical to find effective strategies to disseminate health information and guide behavior outside the few minutes that patients spend with their physicians. Most emergencies happen when patients are at home or out in public, and we all must depend on lay bystanders to help," said Defibrillator Design Challenge Director
The new initiative builds on the success of the 2012 MyHeartMap Challenge (http://www.med.upenn.edu/myheartmap/index.html#.UvJqJ_tE8sE), which utilized crowdsourcing tactics to help locate over 1,500 AEDs across the city of
The inaugural design was created by a team led by
"Design is very good at creating context for individuals to talk about important issues-- in this case, something that has the potential to save lives," said Dr. Telhan. "We looked at this highly trafficked setting and designed a conversation space with public furniture so that people would take pause and pay attention to an important issue. Our furniture creates a reason for people to break from routine, learn about AED devices and create awareness about the competition. "
The partnership with
"The safety and security of our passengers, employees and the traveling public is one of our most important corporate goals," said
In addition to the 30th
"Our decade-long vision is that this project improves AED awareness in communities, empowers bystanders, and ultimately improves cardiac arrest outcomes. While behavioral change and education take time, this project pioneers novel methods in accomplishing these goals," Merchant said. "Social media and the Internet have been embraced as tools for health messaging, yet much work is needed to determine the most effective uses of web-based technologies. We hope that our contest will provide a potential solution and model for the use of online game approaches in health promotion."
The online contest allows designers from across the country to submit their original artwork designed around real AEDs to decorate public spaces and raise awareness. The public will also play a large role, with the option for web users to view and vote on their favorite designs. The online submission will close on
Next, the team will aim to partner with the winning artists and local businesses to select several designs that can become actual public installations. "These designs will draw attention and encourage use of AEDs during an emergency," Merchant said, "thus continuing the spread of our important public health message around the need to understand and use the devices when a person's life is on the line."
Funding for the Penn Defibrillator Design Challenge is provided, in part, by the
For more information about the contest, please visit: http://www.defibdesignchallenge.com/, or check it out on
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