UK’s network of heart defibrillators to be mapped using Microsoft Azure

UK’s network of heart defibrillators to be mapped using Microsoft Azure

British Heart Foundation, Microsoft, the NHS and New Signature will join forces on project

Richard Humphreys |

A new partnership between the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Microsoft, the NHS and New Signature aims to map all the defibrillators in the UK using Microsoft Azure.

This will help 999 call handlers to tell people helping a cardiac arrest patient where the nearest device is.

Owners of the tens of thousands of defibrillators in workplaces, train stations, leisure centres and public places across the country will register their device with the partnership. That information will be stored in Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, where it will be used by ambulance services during emergency situations. The system will also remind owners to check their defibrillators to make sure they are in working order.

According to Microsoft, the plans could save thousands of lives every year. “Thousands of people who are at risk of dying every year from cardiac arrest could be saved,” says an article published on Microsoft News Centre. “There are 30,000 cardiac arrests outside of UK hospitals annually, but fewer than one in ten of those survive, compared with a 25% survival rate in Norway, 21% in North Holland, and 20% in Seattle, in the US.”

It is hoped the partnership can also evolve to capture heart data from cardiac arrest patients.

“There is huge potential ahead in the impact that technology will have in digitally transforming UK healthcare,” said Clare Barclay, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “This innovative partnership will bring the power of Microsoft technology together with the incredible vision and life-saving work of BHF and the NHS. This project, powered by the cloud, will better equip 999 call handlers with information that can make the difference between life and death and shows the potential that innovative partnerships like this could make to the health of the nation.”


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