Officials at Zoll Medical Corp. (NSDQ:ZOLL) say the company’s CPR training app for the iPhone has been downloaded more than 40,000 times.
Mark Totman, president of Bio-Detek Inc., a Pawtucket, R.I.-based subsidiary of Chelmsford, Mass.-based Zoll, told MassDevice that those downloads have come from more than 60 different countries.
In addition, Totman said, Zoll is giving the training app away for free during February to commemorate National Heart Awareness Month. The application normally costs about 99 cents, he said.
Bio-Detek designed the app in-house using its PocketCPR technology, which has been on the market for more than seven years. The FDA-approved device, which provides real-time feedback and a step-by-step coach to guide people through all the steps of the CPR process, has sold about 10,000 units overall, according to Totman. It sells for $149 apiece.
Totman said the company first began looking into melding the PocketCPR sensing technology into a mobile phone application a little more than two years ago. He said the idea was people to call 911 while they began administering CPR on an unresponsive patient.
While there are about 20 different CPR training apps for the iPhone, Totman said Zoll’s is the only one that can sense whether or not you’re applying enough depth to your compressions to make a difference.
“You strap this to the back of your hand and it gives you feedback,” he said, adding that some of the same technology that’s used in the Nintendo Wii is used in the PocketCPR application.
While the product is strictly for training purposes right now, Totman said Zoll is hoping the app will act as sort of a living laboratory for people to test it out and provide feedback. He said the company will likely seek Food & Drug Administration approval for the app eventually, probably using the 510(k) predicate device path. That likelihood made it more time-consuming to develop.
“If we had hired some college students and handed them the mathematic algorithms, they probably could have developed it in a week,” Totman told us. “But because we’re a medical company, it had to be very regimented, and that expanded the scope of the project 20 times. But the good news is that we will be ready with everything we need to go forward with the FDA.”
Zoll, which initially said it would charge $5.99 for the application before lowering the price, is still debating its optimum price point, he added.