Defibrillator maker's massive deal with Singapore military
A Northern Ireland defibrillator manufacturer has landed its largest ever export contract with the Singapore military.
Heartsine, founded by one of the team who helped Professor Frank Pantridge develop portable defibrillators in the 1960s, sold nearly 2,000 of its Automated Exterbak Defibrillators (AEDs) to the Singapore Armed Forces.
The deal isn't the first for the Belfast company in the region as it's already sold its devices to the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Parliament and the Ministry of Health.
Chief executive of HeartSine Technologies Declan O'Mahoney said the products have found a strong market in the region.
"There are almost 8,000 cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in Singapore each year, with over 1,000 deaths reported in 2011," he said.
"In fact, just six months ago, in a high profile case, a young Lance Corporal suffered SCA while training, and fortunately survived."
The HeartSine device is designed as a quick and effective response to SCA which occurs without warning and can happen to anybody anywhere.
In the event of SCA, the chance of survival using Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is around 5%.
However, this figure dramatically increases to 75% when CPR is combined with the use of a defibrillator.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, who is in Singapore ahead of the Singapore Airshow which starts today, welcomed the deal.
"HeartSine's outstanding success in Singapore in a competitive tender process is a marvellous endorsement of the company and also of Northern Ireland as an international centre of excellence in emergency cardiac technology," she said.
"This Belfast-based company has a superb track record in international markets and currently exports to 44 countries, with operating systems in more than 29 languages."
HeartSine was co-founded by the late Professor John Anderson who, working in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in the 1960s in a team brought together by clinician Dr Frank Pantridge, led the work to develop technology that wouldn't restrict defibrillators to hospitals. Its defibrillators are deployed around the world including at the European Parliament Buildings in Brussels and even at the White House