Q&A With Dr. Peter O’Hare, Global Product Manager at HeartSine

Dr. Peter O'Hare1. Name: Dr. Peter O’Hare

2. Title: Global Product Manager

3. Where are you from? Northern Ireland

4. How did you get into your role? I have over 12 years of experience working in research and development in the medical device industry. I began my employment as a Clinical Research Specialist at HeartSine just under three years ago, and since then I have been fortunate to be given the opportunity to move across into Product Management within the company.

5. Describe a typical working day: My typical working day starts before I reach the office. Since we are a global company with teams in many different time zones, I first attend to email requests which come in overnight. I usually try to read as many emails as I can and organize my to-do list for the day over several cups of coffee! After I commute to the office, I respond to my emails and then get on with the work planned for the day. This could include attending new product development meetings, talking to our distributors, or working with any of one of the other departments within HeartSine to help ensure that all the HeartSine products are the best our industry has to offer.

6. Challenges/rewards of your role: The greatest challenge in my role is having to respond to such a varied number of requests that we receive within the Product Management team. As a product manager, I am predominantly involved in the development and rollout of new products, providing input to R&D and Engineering on new products and ultimately rolling out the products to market. However, once a product is launched, I am the key person to provide technical and product support to our sales and marketing teams, including our global network of authorized distributors.

At the moment, most of my time is taken up with the launch of our new samaritan PAD 450P, about which we are incredibly excited. Since the device’s launch, I have been working closely with our U.S. sales team and visiting distributors across the U.S. to introduce the new product.

Although my role can be challenging at times, the best reward is knowing that I work for a company that manufactures amazing lifesaving devices that truly save lives every day, all over the world.

7. What’s different about the SAM 450P? The SAM 450P with CPR Rate Advisor™ is takes to the next level our popular SAM 350P which is already available in the USA. Not only will the SAM 450P recommend a shock if it detects you have a shockable heart rhythm, but it will help to improve the quality of the rate of the CPR compressions that the rescuer delivers to the patient. It analyzes the rescuer’s CPR compression rate during the resuscitation (in real-time) and guides them to the correct rate of chest compressions by telling them to “push faster”, “push slower” or even “good speed” if they have reached the optimal rate of chest compressions. It’s like having someone standing over your shoulder as you perform CPR to help guide and reassure you during what is quite a stressful event.

8. How long does it take to make one defibrillator? We have an amazing production team at HeartSine and I believe an entire defibrillator can physically be made and assembled in a few hours on-site! But the reality is, it takes many long years of research for the entire process to be completed from conceptualization to production.

9. Describe the process of creating the SAM 450P: As I mentioned, it takes many years to produce a medical device such as the SAM 450P. Thankfully we have the experience of many, already globally successful products to create the SAM 450P.

After the initial design and development stages, each department improves each aspect of the device. The HeartSine R&D team developed a unique technology which allows the SAM 450P to assess CPR rate through the electrodes that are attached to the patient without using any additional sensors, enhancing its ease of use even for the minimally trained user. Improvements have been made to the internal software and hardware components that helps us achieve one of the fastest shock times in the industry. The device also underwent extensive testing by our clinical, validation and verification departments before it was successfully cleared for market (under a 510k submission) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

10. How have AEDs evolved since 1966? For one, they are a lot smaller! The first portable defibrillator produced by Professor Frank Pantridge and Professor John Anderson (co-founder of HeartSine), weighed over 50 lbs. and had to be used by a trained cardiologist. So they really were tailored to be carried and deployed from the back of a cardiac ambulance. But as the technology was continuously improved over the years, AEDs have become smaller and are now able to analyze the patient and recommend and deliver a shock if needed. And you need not be a trained cardiologist to use one! Of course AEDs also are a lot more effective and faster in their operation in terms of the safety and effectiveness of the shock delivered to the patient.

11. What sets HeartSine AEDs apart from competitors? A long and continual legacy of innovation. HeartSine can trace its roots right back to the first out-of-hospital defibrillator made by Professor John Anderson. The ground-breaking research and products that Anderson had been involved in since the mid-sixties led him to form HeartSine Technologies in 1998. Since then, the company has been at the forefront of innovative AED production for the public access market and has steadily evolved as a global manufacturer of defibrillators. HeartSine AED products are currently available in over 30 languages and are poised to save lives in more than 70 countries.

12. What do you like to do outside of work? I love music and I have played as a drummer in bands all my life. But one of my favorite things to do is discover new music and go to as many gigs as I can with my friends. Belfast (where I live) has a fast-evolving food scene and I’m a bit of a foodie, so I also love discovering new restaurants with friends and family.

Click here to learn more about the samaritan PAD 450P with CPR Rate Advisor.