​CBC News interviewed W21C Researcher and PhD Student Nicole Percival about the purchasing of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS) for home use for an article published in March 5, 2012. Nicole has extensively studied the design of AEDs in our Health Care Human Factors Laboratory.

As cardiac defibrillators become more commonplace in public spaces, some people are even buying the expensive devices for their home.

Demand for the machines is on the rise, said Brianna Welsh, a purchaser at a Calgary medical supply store.

“I’m not sure if it’s that we have an aging population, or that the status of the health of our population, but that could be one of the factors,” she said.

“Definitely I think it will be going up and it has been going up.”

Defibrillators can help save a person who is in cardiac arrest by shocking the heart back into its normal rhythm.

Drugstores are now stocking them for the health conscious consumer.

But before spending more than $1,300, talk to your doctor to assess whether you need one, said Nicole Percival, who studies defibrillator design at the University of Calgary’s faculty of medicine.

“I think it’s a good idea if you’re high risk population, especially if you can have your family members trained on how to use the defibrillator. Just to have them really comfortable in the use of it in case of an emergency,” she said.

Officials at the Canadian Red Cross agree, but caution consumers that a defibrillator doesn’t replace first aid training.