In the health care sector, product malfunctions can be critical to a person’s life, so monitoring and maintenance are crucial. Citycare is able monitor the correct functioning of its Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) daily, wherever they are installed.
In France today, Citycare hires out more than 15,000 AEDs enabling its customers to easily set up defibrillators while also benefitting from a connected maintenance service for their devices. This essential service is rapidly becoming a growth market – since in 2018, a law was passed obliging public sector bodies to be equipped with defibrillators. In spite of this, there is still no law requiring maintenance to ensure the proper functioning of AEDs. Even though these defibrillators are rarely used, it only takes one person to need them and save a life.
If the nearest defibrillator does not work, the patient’s chances of survival are considerably reduced. The equipment is all the more essential when we know that heart failure is the number one cause of death in Europe, and that a person’s chances of survival during a heart attack can reach 75% when a shock is administered by an AED within the first four minutes. This is why maintenance is a major issue in this field.
Against this background, Citycare has been innovating since 2013. The company wants to simplify how organisations maintain their fleet of AEDs. A defibrillator is a medical device that carries batteries and advanced electronic components and should be checked daily. However, this is not the case in the French market, since 30 to 40% of defibrillators are out of service due to a lack of maintenance. So, at the end of 2014, Citycare turned to GSM technology with its R’EvolutionBox to remotely retrieve data on the operating status of its defibrillators. This was an effective solution at first, but it quickly proved to be restrictive since the box needed to be less than 30 meters from the defibrillator.
Seamless national coverage and long-lasting transmitters
In 2017, Citycare selected Sigfox and started testing its IoT solution, which proved to be highly efficient thanks to its high-quality network coverage throughout France. Thanks to this new collaboration, Citycare launched, in 2018, the first Sigfox connected AED – simple to use, reliable and above all easy to maintain. As part of this partnership, Citycare also collaborated with Sigfox partners: Adeunis, which provides the transmitters integrated in the AED and Vertical M2M, which offers the CommonSense IoT platform for retrieving and analyzing transmitter data.
Thanks to the exclusive integration of a Sigfox chip, the Sigfox Citycare Connected AED, regardless of its location, automatically tests itself daily and sends a short message via the integrated transmitter to provide an alert on its operating status. This way, in case of any anomaly, a notification is sent directly to the customer and Citycare’s technical teams to proceed with the replacement of the AED within 24 hours. Sigfox’s 0G network allows the customer to receive information on the status of the device wherever it is located and provides it a shelf-life of more than 10 years thanks to only sending a short daily message. Indeed, the transmitter integrated in the AED requires very little battery power.
Today, 5,500 of Citycare’s 15,000 AEDs are equipped with Sigfox technology. The rest of the fleet, which is still equipped with GSM boxes, will be switched entirely to Sigfox over the coming years.
In 2021, the Citycare Group will go one step further by marketing a new defibrillator, the Patriot®. This next-generation defibrillator, designed around the Sigfox transmitter, opens up new possibilities such as the geolocation of these devices. Thanks to these innovations and their quality, Citycare Patriot® defibrillators are true stars of French Tech and save around 20 lives a year in France. Defibrillators equipped with Sigfox technology are also recommended by the SAUV Life association, which makes it possible, to find the nearest working defibrillator to perform life-saving procedures. Their app enables citizens to help while emergency services are on the way. Because a cardiac arrest can happen anywhere and at any time, it is essential that the nearest defibrillator is functional, and this is what Citycare certifies.
Ready to expand
Today, Citycare offers its solution in France and has nearly 12,000 customers in its portfolio. The company equips major organisations such as Vinci Construction France, Eiffage and the ACPPA Group, which use Citycare to facilitate the installation, update and maintenance of their defibrillator fleets.
Established in the 10 largest French cities including Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Lille, Citycare wants to open up to other European markets because in many countries, defibrillators and their management are not optimized. The UK, for example, has around 10,000 AEDs, but there is no specific law concerning their deployment, so their maintenance is not mandatory either. Thanks to the high quality of the Sigfox network available worldwide, Citycare’s expansion is possible.
Citycare is currently the only company in the world to have integrated a transmitter inside its defibrillator to facilitate daily updates. Its products are CE class IIB certified for sale in the European Union and comply with ISO 13485 and ISO 9001 standards. In addition, the company won two innovation awards in 2016 and 2018, in the first aid category at the Préventica trade show, once again proving the effectiveness of its solution.