CPR Connect, one of the teams in the Spring 2016 Penn I-Corps Site Accelerator, has been documenting their experience so far.
CPR Connect, an innovative digital health technology, aims to reduce emergency response times and improve patient outcomes of cardiac arrest victims. Using a novel wearable device, our technology better locates victims of cardiac arrest and provides real-time data for bystander CPR-certified individuals to respond to events in under six minutes. Our goal is to streamline emergency services and provide an innovative solution to high emergency response times across the country.
For our second week at I-corps, we examined whether high emergency response times were indeed an issue in Philadelphia. After interviewing paramedics from the Philadelphia Fire Department, we ascertained several key points. First, we discovered that it takes 20 minutes on average for an ambulance to travel from Center City to West Philadelphia. Second, that during rush hour, emergency response times surpass the national standard of 15 minutes, and that no current solution exists in the Philadelphia market to help reduce emergency response times. And third, that there is no protocol in nursing homes or high rises for cardiac arrest response. Emergency responders report waiting more than 5 minutes for the elevator to come down before they can respond to an emergency. These key findings point to an important need for a solution that our technology addresses. Additionally, these interviews have helped shape our value proposition. CPR Connect’s value proposition is that our product reduces emergency response times, is life-saving, and improves patient outcomes.
During this week, we focused on customer segmentation. We have two main customer segments: individuals who utilize the device that detects when a cardiac arrest occurs and CPR-certified individuals who will respond to bystander cardiac arrest events. For this week, we focused on the second customer segment by interviewing three CPR-certified individuals who are also health care professionals. From our interviews, we learned that these individuals did not respond to a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital. This information shows that while there is an excess of CPR-certified responders, there is no current solution to connect them to nearby cardiac arrest events. We plan to explore this issue further and interview additional CPR-certified individuals to understand their motives of obtaining CPR certification and if they would use our technology.
Week 4 centered around further customer development by interviewing nurses. Similar to the previous health care professionals, these responders rarely responded to cardiac arrest events outside of the hospital. Interestingly, these nurses did own smartphones but did not use smartphone health apps; however, they did report using other apps. We found this interesting because it indicates that while people may own smartphones, they may not be necessarily using health apps to monitor their heart health. For the next two weeks, we plan to interview additional health care professionals and ask questions regarding the health apps they use and their motivations behind using them. Additionally, we plan to interview physicians within the fields of emergency medicine and cardiology to receive feedback regarding our solution. Lastly, we plan to begin interviews of at-risk cardiac arrest patients and ask questions regarding the usability of our device.
This week we learned about the importance of intellectual property and filing for an LLC. We plan to file for an LLC and file a patent for our new, innovative device that will measure breathing and heart rate using novel sensors and methods. While we were able to connect with patent officers and representatives from investment firms, we learned important key points from the panel and lecture discussion. First, surrounding our startup with advisors and industry mentors strengthens our team. Second, understanding the changing landscape and adapting is important to the viability of the startup. And lastly, understanding our customers and focusing on customer development will help us develop our product. With these insights, we hope to begin the filing process of the LLC and continue proof-of-concept testing on our novel technology. Additionally, we plan to discuss our product with experts and physicians from the emergency department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for further input.