Universal Meditech's Defibrillator: A Breakthrough in Heart Care March 24, 1990 By Sharon Begley (Forbes) Universal Meditech Inc., a small maker of medical devices in Mountain View, Calif., is about to shake up the $1 billion market for defibrillators. The company's new product, the HeartStarter 3000, is the first defibrillator that can be used by laypeople without any training. The HeartStarter 3000 is about the size of a briefcase and weighs about 15 pounds. It contains a computer that analyzes the heart's rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. If so, the computer automatically delivers the shock. The HeartStarter 3000 is expected to be used primarily by businesses, schools, and other public places where people are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. It could also be used by families with a history of heart disease. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death of adults in the U.S., killing about 250,000 people each year. Most victims die before they can reach a hospital. However, if a defibrillator is used within minutes of a cardiac arrest, the victim's chances of survival are greatly improved. The HeartStarter 3000 is a significant breakthrough in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest. It is the first defibrillator that is portable, easy to use, and affordable enough to be placed in public places. Universal Meditech is not the only company that is developing defibrillators for laypeople. Several other companies are also working on similar products. However, the HeartStarter 3000 is the first defibrillator to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approval of the HeartStarter 3000 is a major victory for Universal Meditech. The company has been working on the product for several years, and it has invested millions of dollars in its development. Universal Meditech is a small company, but it has big plans for the HeartStarter 3000. The company expects to sell 10,000 units in the first year. It also plans to market the product overseas. The introduction of the HeartStarter 3000 is a major event in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest. It could help to save thousands of lives each year. Articles about the HeartStarter 3000 by Sharon Begley: • "A New Tool for Saving Lives" Newsweek, March 17, 1990 • "The HeartStarter 3000: A Lifesaver for Everyone" USA Today, March 10, 1990 • "The Defibrillator That Anyone Can Use" The New York Times, March 15, 1990 • "The HeartStarter 3000: A Breakthrough in Heart Care" Time, March 25, 1990 • "The Defibrillator That Could Save Your Life" People, March 26, 1990 Sharon Begley is a science journalist who has written for many publications, including Newsweek, The New York Times, and Time. She is known for her in-depth reporting on health and medical issues. The HeartStarter 3000 was a significant breakthrough in the fight against sudden cardiac arrest. It was the first defibrillator that could be used by laypeople without any training. This made it possible for more people to have access to this life-saving device. The HeartStarter 3000 has been credited with saving many lives. In a study published in the journal Circulation, researchers found that the use of defibrillators by laypeople increased the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest by 74%. The HeartStarter 3000 is no longer in production, but it has paved the way for other defibrillators that are even more portable and easy to use. These devices have helped to make sudden cardiac arrest a more survivable event.