Hero image for HeartRead



Design a product for the future of medical products.


Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that triggers non-trained bystanders to act fast in an emergency.


We thought the simple, intuitive design and considered details that this product brought to a high stress situation was exceptional.

– Sohrab Vossoughi (Core77 Design Awards Jury)


Design Criteria From Research Findings

  • TIME

    If defibrillation is applied within 2 minutes after cardiac arrest, chance of survival is 80%.


    More than half people do not know what cardiac arrest or AED is.


    Many don’t know where the nearest AED is, and it takes time to find and bring it.


    “What if I do wrong?” becomes the pressure. Although doing nothing is worse.

  • Make the steps taken by the bystander extremely simple and minimal as follows:

    1. Cut clothing
    2. Apply Pads
    3. Stay away

  • Instead of teaching users how to use, or when to use, change the stereotype of defibrillator.

    Give an iconic figure, and let users see the components.

  • Instead of bystanders running around to find the nearest AED, create a system where AED finds them.

    AED activates when it is needed nearby.

  • AED will analyze the heart and will decide whether the shock is needed. AED will not deliver shock if it is not needed.

    Emphasize the analyzing function of AED.

Research Highlight

Time is crucial

Every minute of delay in defibrillation, chance of survival drops 7~10%

Users are unaware and lacking confidence

Initial Idea Exploration

User Test with Mock-Ups

Re-Framing the User Experience

Expandable AED

After re-framing the user experience, the concept shifted to making it little step as possible.

User Interface that Will Walk You Through

Reduced number of steps allows more immediate defibrillation.
Clear visual instructions to follow even in chaotic situations.
Orientation of machine is aligned with direction of actions.

What if AED Finds You?

With GPS and network, 911 operator can find and activate AED nearby, and send EMS at the same time.

Give an iconic figure, and let users see the components.

Why is it Called HeartRead?

“Defibrillator” is overwhelming and scary for users. Wanted to emphasize the analyzing function of AED, because whether the defibrillation is needed or not, getting the bystanders to apply pads on victim as soon as possible is the key to saving life.

All You Need to Save a Life


Very Special Thanks to:

  • Matthew A.
  • Fridolin B.
  • Isaúl B.
  • Thomas B.
  • Daniela C.
  • Grant D.
  • Walter D.
  • Mia E.
  • Allison G.
  • Bobin G.
  • India H.
  • Mike H.
  • Erick I.
  • Takafumi I.
  • Dailyn K.
  • Kazumasa M.
  • Masato N.
  • Eric O.
  • Yu-Ning P.
  • Chane S.
  • Kira S.
  • Ché T.
  • Sean W.
  • Dali Y.

for Interviews, Advice, and Support.