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Saving lives with technology

Defi is an online service managed by the Finnish Resuscitation Council, Finnish Red Cross and Finnish Heart Association. It guides its user to the nearest defibrillator to support a person’s resuscitation in case of an emergency.

Launch the site

Putting the user first

The former was built in a traditional and old-fashioned way. It was lacking functionalities like automated color-coding, which shows the user whether a defibrillator is currently available or not. The development of the new service started by mapping out the needs of the users. Because we wanted to offer important information to users as rapidly and accurately as possible, speed and usability on mobile devices were considered the project’s most important aspects.

We also modernized the service by using the Google Maps interface. It reminds the user of a familiar service, making easy to navigate and drastically improving the service’s usability. On the maintenance side, the user experience of defibrillator owners was improved in order to keep the database up to date and to harmonize data logging practices.

Speed is everything

The goal of the renewal was to create a service with a user interface as intuitive as possible because in an emergency, there is no time for speculation — the user needs to immediately understand how the application works. If the user can be guided to the right location during a crisis situation as rapidly as possible, the service can potentially save lives.

Technology and implementation

The process of locating the user was sped up and the availability of individual defibrillator information was improved by creating a separate view for each defibrillator instead of pop-ups on the map. The owner of the defibrillator simply inserts their opening hour information to WordPress, which then compares to the time of day. As a result, the service shows users the available defibrillators using color codes.

The content management system for the updated service is WordPress. To keep the defibrillator database as up-to-date as possible, we needed to improve the user experience of defibrillator owners. A number of user roles were created in the database so that owners could add and update their device information.

Technologies behind the interface include React.js and the Google Maps interface. Since the speed of the service is a particularly important feature of, we paid a lot of attention to optimizing it with caching. The user experience was enhanced by making the map the centerpiece of the whole service. We also paid extra attention to accessibility: contrasts and font sizes were improved to make the service as accessible and user-friendly as possible. The new was released on October 16, on the World Restart a Heart Day.

Pohjola Rakennus

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Pohjola Rakennus