Low battery is not an option when it’s time to re-start a human heart

4 minute read
Jan Rasmussen and the machine

Telenor has created an IoT solution to monitor defibrillators in Denmark, 24 hours a day, in order to ensure that your defibrillator will work in a crisis.

Each year, 5,400 Danes experience cardiac arrest outside of the safety of the hospital walls, according to the Danish Heart Foundation. Heart failure can happen anywhere, which makes it critical to have the right equipment on hand when you need it.

“A functional cardiac defibrillator can ultimately be the difference between life and death. We are sure proud of being part of a project that helps ensure the functionality of cardiac defibrillators 24 hours a day,” says Jan Rasmussen, Head of Solution House at Telenor Denmark.

IoT to the rescue

Telenor Denmark and the Aalborg-based development house Seluxit partnered to create an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that proactively monitors cardiac defibrillators, in order to detect any potential problems or malfunctions on the apparatus.

“An IoT unit that will monitor the equipment is installed on the cardiac defibrillators and on the incubators where the defibrillators are stored. This unit communicates via Telenor’s network and sends an alert to the Danish Heart Found and their service partner when any errors or low battery is detected. Telenor has donated the first 1,600 SIM cards, providing connectivity to the IoT units, to get the journey started towards always-functioning defibrillators in Denmark,” says Rasmussen.

Stock image of a person receiving help during heart failure

Increases survival rate by 50 to 70 percent

Almost 21,000 registered public cardiac defibrillators are deployed all over Denmark, in addition to an unknown number of unregistered units. Unfortunately, due to sporadic servicing and increasing age of the apparatuses, the Danish Heart Foundation has encountered incidents in which cardiac defibrillators were non-functioning in crucial situations.

“We know that the maintenance of the defibrillators, once they have been acquired, can be forgotten and that there may be ambiguity about who is responsible for keeping the equipment maintained. This is worrying, especially considering that the survival rate for someone in heart distress increases by 50 to 70 percent if a functional cardiac defibrillator is nearby,” says Anne Kaltoft, CEO of the Danish Heart Foundation.

A worrying fact indeed, which is why Telenor Denmark decided to initiate a dialogue with the Danish Heart Foundation last year in order to address this challenge.

“We set a goal, which was to create a solution to remove the unfortunate possibility of anyone being equipped with a non-functional defibrillator in an emergency,” says Rasmussen.

Anne Kaltoft, CEO of the Danish Heart Foundation
Today, maintenance of defibrillators happens reactively, as service is performed on the equipment after it stops functioning. Anne Kaltoft, CEO of the Danish Heart Foundation, rejoice over the new IoT unit, which helps prevent equipment failure. Photo by: Heidi Maxmiling

Anyone can apply for a monitored defibrillator

The new IoT solution will be a part of the Danish Heart Foundation’s new service agreement, ServicePlus. The agreement includes defibrillators which the foundation will distribute during a national campaign on 3 May to groups and organisations joining the campaign. Any organisation or group can join and apply for a defibrillator free of charge by contacting the Danish Heart Foundation.


Stian Kristoffer Sande

Communication Advisor

Telenor Group