Copyright: Michael Cooper
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured at HeartSine Technologies Ltd with founder and Chief Technology Officer, Professor John Anderson and (right) Carol Keery, Invest NI.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced a £2million investment in research and development by HeartSine Technologies, which will help save lives.
The investment aims to further strengthen the company’s position as a global leader in the development of cardiac emergency devices.
Since 1998, HeartSine Technologies has been designing, developing and manufacturing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for the minimally trained rescuer who is often first at the scene.
HeartSine has a global presence with facilities in Northern Ireland and the United States. The easy to use, life saving devices are used in over 32 countries and key customers include: The White House, Washington; Air Force One, the US President’s aircraft; the European Parliament; Bayern Munich Football Club and the Stormont Executive.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered HeartSine R&D support of £650,000 - which includes part funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - to assist the company in expanding their existing Automated External Defibrillators (AED) range with the development of ‘next generation’ SMART AED.
The Minister made the announcement during a visit to the company’s R&D and manufacturing base at Sydenham, near Belfast, where it employs around 50 people in the development, manufacturing and marketing of innovative cardiac defibrillators for victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
Arlene Foster said: “Northern Ireland has an impressive track record in the field of emergency cardiac devices that stretches back to the sixties, when the first portable defibrillators and the cardiac ambulance were developed at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by Professor John Anderson, now HeartSine’s Chief Technology Officer. Northern Ireland is now recognised worldwide as a centre of innovation in the development of emergency cardiac medicine.
“The new AEDs being developed by HeartSine will position this innovative company at the leading-edge of a technology that already helps to save the lives of many thousands of the two million people around the world who suffer sudden cardiac arrest every year.”
The Minister continued: “HeartSine’s SMART AED will increase survival rates substantially through the application of pioneering technology that makes the devices much easier to use by inexperienced people. Their portability, diagnostic capability and increased functionality significantly enhance their overall effectiveness in emergency situations.
“HeartSine is an excellent example of the type of ‘frontier’ technology company that the MATRIX Report identified as being vitally important to the development of the local economy, especially in emerging life sciences areas of personalised medicine and home-based care.”
Professor Anderson, commenting on the investment plans, said: “The first minutes for anyone facing Sudden Cardiac Arrest are crucial. It’s a life threatening condition that can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere. Our focus has been on developing highly portable and easy to use devices that can be made available everywhere even at home.
“In the new SMART device we’ve also addressed one of the key issues of how, when and where to carry our cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in emergency situations. Ou
r patented technology guides users on when CPR is required in advance of defibrillation and where to apply this to achieve the greatest effect.”