Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Determining AED Location Using Smartphone Technology

Technology #6047

Out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests affect more than 300,000 people in the United States every year. About 94% of all people who suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest do not survive. In the absence of treatment, every minute that passes after the onset of sudden cardiac arrest reduces the chances of survival by 7 to 10%. Jump-starting the heart using defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation offers the best hopes for survival of a cardiac arrest. There are over a million automated external defibrillators (AEDs) installed in the United States. However, lack of knowledge about the existence, location and operation of AED devices results in loss of life due to delayed resuscitation intervention. The improved use of AEDs could save the lives of hundred if not thousands of people a year. The U.S. external defibrillation market was worth $616 million in 2012. This established yet dynamic market is poised to continue growing due to the increased awareness of the lifesaving potential of AEDs, more installation of public access AEDs, as well as the growing incidence of cardiovascular disease in America’s aging population.

AED location tracking device and Smartphone app developed at the University of Michigan

Doctors at the Mott’s Children Hospital have developed an AED localization technology using Bluetooth v4.0 and GPS that allows anyone with a compatible smartphone to find nearby AEDs. This technology, along with the app developed to interface with users, would enable people to find AEDs so as to administer life-saving treatment to individuals experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest, which increases the victim’s chances of survival and minimizes brain damage. The technology would also allow data management solutions to be integrated into the cloud, were information extracted from AEDs could be subsequently analyzed to inform best usage guidelines, among other epidemiological and public health related information.


  • Active tracking of AED and other medical devices’ location using Bluetooth v4.0 and GPS
  • Data generated within app can be stored in the cloud and analyzed.


  • Minimal time delay in defining location of AED device.
  • Data generated by the app can be used to improve AED use.