Emma Hartley, Product Designer here at G2 Innovation, wowed us all this April when she scooped the top prize at University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity17 – a competition that saw over 600 entrants from University of Nottingham’s campuses here in Nottingham, Malaysia and Ningbo China.
Ingenuity17 asked entrants to Ignite The Mind with their innovative business ideas. And we’re so proud that Emma, who studied at Nottingham University took home the 1st prize of £5,000 as well as winning the People’s Choice Award, 1st prize from Engineers in Business and prizes from Potter Clarkson, Shakespeare Martineau and BDO bringing the total to just over £20,000 in prizes.
Emma’s idea was the creation and design of Pulse AED a new automated external defibrillator.
Inspired after one of her friends passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at just 21, Emma wanted to see how she could use her skills to make a difference to others.
Defibrillators are now a common sight in village phone boxes across the country. But Emma realised there might be a problem, when one was installed in the phone box next to the pub where she worked. Locals kept asking what the ‘first aid box’ was in the phone box.
Emma wanted to make defibrillators more recognisable, and made this the focus on her final project on her Project Design and Manufacture degree at University of Nottingham. But as her project started she realised there were more pressing difficulties with defibrillators. It’s not just that they are hard to spot, they are not easy to use either.
Working alongside several academics at the University of Nottingham, she discovered that real world effectiveness of defibrillators was limited. Time is critical – if used within the first 5 minutes survival is boosted from 6% to 74%, so having them easily accessible is crucial. In the UK there are over 60,000 cardiac arrests a year outside of hospital. But even when they are available, people need training and even when trained, over 50% of users deliver an ineffective shock. Add to this the price point of around £1200, current defibrillators are expensive and are difficult to use.
Emma’s Pulse AED will be intuitive to use, taking pressure off the user. Cardiac arrest is not the sanitised vision we see on our TVs, people are often grey, sweating and gasping for breath and having to use a defibrillator is stressful. Emma has created something that can be used by anyone without any training. The Pulse AED will also be sold at a much lower price point, at around £100, meaning that they can be more widely available.
It's shocking that only 9% of the engineering workforce is female. And only 6% of registered engineers and technicians are women. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%, while Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with nearly 30%. Which makes Emma's 1st prize from Engineers in Business even more important and us even more proud that over 50% of our team are women.
The next step for Emma is product development. We’re proud at G2 Innovation to support Emma to bring this to market, both through giving her time to develop and the use of our resources. We’re proud to be part of developing a product with Emma that will ultimately save lives.