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DOTmed Industry Sector Report: Defibrillators

by Keith Loria , Reporter

"We introduced the LIFEPAK 15 this year and it's really an entire redo from the ground up. We are always keeping our eyes open for what is the next parameter that can make a difference for clinical care," Pollock says. "The most significant thing we added was the carbon monoxide monitoring. There's a lot of proof that early detection of carbon monoxide poisoning can really make a difference with the care of a patient. This has been really useful for firemen."

Pollock also believes that the metronome, which can help keep time at 100 beats per minute, will really improve CPR.
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"We have a number of things in our product that maximizes the amount of time CPR is being done," he says. "I see that as a recent innovation but something that will be coming more in the future as we look for other ways we can improve CPR performance."

In late 2007 Zoll introduced a new generation of hospital defibrillators, unique because they are able to talk remotely to the biomedical clinical engineering departments of the hospital.

"It is the only defibrillator that incorporates a wireless network for maintaining defibrillator readiness in the hospital," Hamilton says. "We created a system that's designed to keep track of the defibrillators remotely which is becoming very popular. We have a software program Defibrillator Dashboard where all of the defibrillators can report in each day that they have been tested and working properly. They do self-check and can report any problems."

Philips has added an element of conductivity as well in its defibrillators, which can aid in the chain of survival.

"We have capabilities to connect from the ambulance to the emergency department to provide info in advance so they are ready to receive the patient," Millers says. "Philips allows our defibrillator monitors to connect into a patient monitor network and sends vital signs and waveforms in real time. It's a great opportunity to connect and provide more."

Is there a refurbished market?

Most hospitals are going to stick with newer models, but there are plenty of clinics, doctor offices and other places where a refurbished defibrillator is in demand. In fact, many DOTmed users who sell used and refurbished defibrillators are seeing an upswing in business.

"Defibrillators today are really a high priority on everyone's list and there's a big request for them, especially overseas," says Richard Fosco, President of Oak Brook, IL-based HealthWare Inc. "You have Israel, Afghanistan, Egypt, Mexico...the market overseas is very good right now for these."

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