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Dollars and Sense

Updated: Oct 21

We are looking at AEDs wrong. Today, approximately nine hundred people will die from sudden cardiac arrest in the United States. And then tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Big numbers that would be lower if AEDs were used more often. So, what’s the problem?


Seventy percent of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home but personal use AEDs are rare because they are too big and because they cost too much. For example, public and private health insurance companies rarely cover AED costs, perhaps because they don’t have the analysis showing the cost-benefit tradeoffs among different risk groups. A deeper look into benefits and associated costs across specific at-risk groups is important to understand the most cost-effective way to save more lives.


With this in mind, we developed models to evaluate cost-effectiveness of a miniaturized “SmartAED” across different at-risk populations. The study identifies the risk thresholds for a person where anticipated benefits out way costs, showing clear health and economic benefits in at-risk populations. For example, if you’re over fifty with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, it is a good health and economic decision for you to own an AED!


Here’s hoping this is a first step into viewing personal-use AEDs in a different light. The full article can be found in Frontiers of Cardiovascular Medicine.





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