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Feb. 14, 2014 10:30 am

Penn Social Media Lab challenge: How good design can save lives

Penn Medicine's new Social Media Lab launched a new public health initiative that invites people to reimagine public spaces in order to make Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) more apparent in life-threatening emergencies.

Technical.ly Philly lead reporter Juliana Reyes contributed to this report.
Updated 2/17/13 3:49 p.m.: A previous version of this article incorrectly characterize the example design in 30th Street Station. The Superman design is a sample of a proposed design, and the 30th Street Station design is a collection of bold, red chairs that spell #AED. The deadline for submissions has also been extended to April 6th.

Good design can save lives.

Penn Medicine’s new Social Media Lab launched a new public health initiative that invites people to reimagine public spaces in order to make Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) more apparent in life-threatening emergencies.

The challenge is accepting submissions until April 6th. Enter yours here.

AEDs are simple live-saving devices that anyone can use — but many people wouldn’t know where to find them in the case of an emergency. The Penn Defibrillator Design Challenge wants to change that.

One proposed design includes mural of a man ripping open his button-down shirt, Clark Kent-style, to reveal a standard AED case mounted on the wall. Above the graphic are the words: “YOU CAN BE A HERO.” The inaugural design, a collection of bold, red chairs that spell #AED, is currently on display at 30th Street Station.

The Penn Defibrillator Design Challenge aims to show good design and open data can educate the public and ultimately save lives. The challenge builds on previous efforts by Penn Medicine to increase AED education and awareness, like MyHeartMap, which displays all the AEDs in Philadelphia.

The challenge is an effort of Penn Medicine’s new Social Media Lab, led by Dr. Raina Merchant. Merchant, a professor at Penn Medicine, led the MyHeartMap project and has done studies on crowdsourcing’s role in medical research.

The lab aims to explore the intersection of health and social media, but Merchant said that it spans all Penn schools: members of the lab come from schools like Wharton Business School, Penn’s School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Frida Garza is a student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Creative Writing. She's interested in tech, entrepreneurship and great ideas. A Texan relocated in the Northeast, she loves exploring Philly, especially if it involves coffee or food trucks. She is usually reading something on her phone or planning her next meal.

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