History of innovation

A legacy of lifesaving cardiac defibrillators and mobile defibrillation technology


Development of first mobile defibrillator begins

HeartSine co-founder Professor John Anderson (M.Phil., Ph.D. Medical Engineering) was approached to start the biomedical engineering group at the Royal Victoria Hospital. There he headed the effort to produce the world’s first mobile defibrillator, bringing the expertise of the hospital to the patient to improve outcomes. The result changed the way emergency care is delivered globally, a legacy which endures to this day.


World's first mobile coronary care unit

Under the medical direction of Dr. Frank Pantridge and Dr. Geddes, the Royal Victoria Hospital-Belfast (RVH) launches the world’s first mobile coronary care unit which utilizes the world’s first portable defibrillator, making the management of heart attacks outside the hospital possible.

At 110 lb, the complete apparatus is difficult to move and cumbersome to operate. However, significant improvements to outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest patients are soon observed. The team soon recognizes that lightweight, battery-operated defibrillators are urgently required if mobile coronary care is to become more widespread.

The Belfast Experience, as it came to be known, became an emergency care model that was quickly adopted throughout the western world. Mobile coronary units are modeled on the Belfast Experience, and first adapted for use throughout many countries.


First portable battery-operated defibrillator

Professor John Anderson joins the RVH team and works in close association with American Optical to develop the world’s first truly portable, battery-operated defibrillator. Weighing 44 lb, the new defibrillator is under half the weight of the earlier inverter units.


Pantridge Portable 15 defibrillator uses new waveform

With material advances to reduce weight, other technologies are incorporated into defibrillators to deliver efficacious shock therapy at reduced energies. This serves to further reduce weight without compromising effectiveness. Anderson et. al. develop a new waveform introduced with the Pantridge Portable 15 defibrillator – a unit that weighs just 15 lb. This device features rechargeable NiCad batteries, which can deliver upwards of 70 shocks. This reliable instrument becomes the standard of care for mobile units until 1974.


CORA launched with speech channel track

Anderson’s team now addresses new challenges – to provide mobile continuous ECG monitoring until patient arrival at the hospital and to provide an event record for review.

As a result, a new, fully integrated unit, featuring ECG display and event recording, is developed. This device weighs approximately 12 lb. The system, known as CORA (Combined Oscilloscope & Recording Apparatus) is the first mobile system also to incorporate a speech channel track for rescuers to record comments, drug information, patient information, etc.

A new “fast-scan” system also is incorporated enabling a two-hour patient record to be scanned in five minutes. The three main advantage of this system are: light weight, continuous recording and reusable tapes.


Lightweight portable defibrillator

Professor Anderson drives further material advances that allow for a dramatic reduction in weight, enabling the development of the first truly lightweight portable defibrillator for emergency services. Designed to specifications developed and prototyped at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, this unit weighs approximately 7.5 lb, significantly lighter than anything else available in the world. Six hundred units were sold in the United States alone. .


A series of firsts

Anderson files one of the first patents for automatic recognition of ventricular fibrillation. This algorithm, understood to be at the core of every AED in the industry today, provides the sensitivity and specificity necessary for the development of the first AEDs.

Anderson and his group spearhead design advancements that are used in current defibrillator models worldwide. A host of patents follow. Some of the “firsts” that came out of the Belfast group will come to include:
First mobile cardiac defibrillator
First use of Mylar capacitors for efficiency and weight reduction
Development of the first miniaturized capacitor, through a cooperative project with CSI, CA
First truly portable defibrillator provided in a transport case
One of the first rechargeable systems with integrated printer capability
First cardiac defibrillator that could operate over a telephone system to a base station
Patent for waveform algorithm with a defibrillator shock decision tree, elements of which are still in use in external and internal defibrillator algorithms
Development of the first flat screen displays
Early version tape recorder incorporated into systems for speech recording
First IP56 (ingress test certification) and 7-year warranty in one unit
Patented Pad-Pak technology, combining electrodes & lithium manganese battery in one disposable unit for simplicity of use


First AED in Northern Ireland

Anderson leads the development of the first AED in Northern Ireland. The unit includes a flat screen display, read out and recording facilities.


Anderson launches HeartSine

John Anderson inspires a group of innovators and investors to launch HeartSine to further the development of portable cardiac defibrillators based on his early Belfast experience.


HeartSine launches first samaritan AED

HeartSine develops the first samaritan AED. This lightweight device, with smart battery technology, large screen display for ECG trace and graphic (with written) instructions, utilizes new SCOPE waveform technology. Audible prompts coach users in proper operation of the unit.


HeartSine introduces first samaritan PAD

HeartSine unveils the samaritan PAD, Public Access Defibrillator, a lighter more advanced version of its predecessor. Weighing just 2.4 lbs, the samaritan PAD utilizes sophisticated algorithms designed to automatically sense patient heart rhythms and apply a shock only when necessary. It provides audible and visual prompts during the resuscitation process, including rate coaching for chest compressions, and simplifies the interface by providing only two buttons, On/Off and Shock.


samaritan PAD 300P offers pediatric capability

HeartSine launches the samaritan PAD 300P, its first AED with both adult and pediatric capabilities.


HeartSine unveils first single-use AED

HeartSine launches the HeartSine samaritan PDU 400, the first single-use disposable AED. This unique AED, which was smaller and lighter than earlier HeartSine devices, offers a high IP rating, low-energy waveform and a VT detection algorithm.


First AED to provide force and rate feedback using only the electrodes

HeartSine continues its legacy of innovation unveiling in international markets HeartSine samaritan PAD 500P with ICG based CPR Advisor, the first AED to provide force and rate feedback using only the electrodes. This AED uses an Impedance Cardiogram (ICG) to determine if CPR is being applied within the ranges recommended by AHA/ERC guidelines.  
(Note: HeartSine samaritan PAD 500P is not available in the U.S.)


Pad-Pak life doubles to 4 years

The battery capability of the innovative single-use Pad-Pak combined battery and electrode cartridge for the samaritan PAD improves, doubling its life since its introduction to four years. 


SAM 350P replaces earlier version

HeartSine launches the HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P, continuing its line of highly portable and clinically advanced AED products. 


HeartSine launches its first fully automatic AED

HeartSine unveils the HeartSine samaritan PAD 360P, the company’s first fully automatic AED.


SAM 450P launched & HeartSine is acquired

HeartSine introduces the HeartSine samaritan PAD 450P, featuring CPR Rate Advisor, which provides real-time visual and audible feedback to the rescuer on the rate of CPR compressions during a sudden cardiac arrest resuscitation to accompany the rescuer right through the chain of survival. 

HeartSine is acquired by Physio-Control, resulting in the broadest AED product portfolio on the market.


HeartSine joins Stryker family

Stryker acquires Physio-Control. 


HeartSine AEDs first to receive PMA

FDA grants first Premarket Approval of an AED to HeartSine's SAM 350P, SAM 360P and SAM 450P. HeartSine's Pad-Pak, Pediatric-Pak, TSO/ETSO-certified Pad-Pak and Saver EVO software also receive Premarket Approval. New to the American market, SAM 360P, the fully automatic AED, is launched in the US.


HeartSine Gateway enables connectivity

HeartSine Connected AEDs make their debut, offering Wi-Fi connectivity to LIFELINKcentral AED program manager to help ensure AED readiness.

HeartSine Gateway enables the wireless connectivity which allows AED program managers to readily manage a fleet of HeartSine AEDs across single or multiple locations by providing remote readiness information about each AED. HeartSine Gateway can be integrated with HeartSine AEDs models from 2013 onwards.


HeartSine expands global reach

HeartSine AEDs are made available in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, increasing the number of countries where HeartSine AEDs are saving lives to 67.

HeartSine SAM 450P with CPR Rate Advisor is launched in Japan.


HeartSine obtains approval for first fully automatic AED in Japan

HeartSine samaritan PAD 360P is the first fully automatic AED to be approved by PMDA in Japan.


HeartSine products granted over-the-counter approval from FDA

With its simplified instructions and self-training videos, HeartSine samaritan PAD 350P is approved by FDA for purchase over-the-counter without a prescription.

Pediatric-Pak, for use with the SAM 350P AED, becomes the only FDA-approved pediatric electrode pad cartridge approved for use on children without a prescription.