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Philips Foundation, Philips Italy, and the Italian Red Cross join forces for heart-protected Procida and Aeolian Islands

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Sep 21, 2023

By the Philips Foundation team

  • Automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs) and free first aid courses to safeguard the hearts of residents and tourists and enhance access to quality healthcare.
  • By applying the data-driven framework from a third-party study [1], the project can strategically optimize AED placements, ensuring a much wider and more efficient coverage.


Milan, Italy — Philips Foundation, with a mission to provide access to quality healthcare for 100 million people a year in underserved communities by 2030, in collaboration with Philips Italy and the Italian Red Cross, announced today their commitment to provide AEDs and life-saving training to the island of Procida and the Aeolian Islands.


If performed immediately after cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can double to quadruple the chances of survival for the affected individuals. However, victims are often not promptly assisted with the appropriate tools and training by those witnessing these events.

In Italy, immediate assistance occurs in less than 30% of cases, compared to an EU average of 47% [2]. This rate is even lower in places like the smaller islands, where on-site medical units and adequate defibrillators often don't exist. Infrastructural challenges and the terrain's morphology further hinder timely first-aid interventions. Moreover, these places experience a significant population increase during the summer due to seasonal tourists, which impacts healthcare quality and capacity.

The project emerged from the desire to support these communities. Jointly implemented by Philips Foundation, Philips Italy, and the Italian Red Cross, this project is dedicated to equipping the island of Procida and the Aeolian Islands with AEDs and CPR training.

The initiative's goal is to ensure both citizens and tourists have easy access to cardiac first aid, creating a cardio-protection ecosystem that combines Philips' technology with the expertise of the Italian Red Cross.  

Breaking healthcare barriers: A study-driven approach in Procida
Given that Procida is the most densely populated island in Europe, its geographical barriers to health access become particularly significant. When considering that a large portion of its inhabitants are elderly – with an average of 212 individuals over the age of 65 for every 100 young people (up to 14 years old), compared to a national average of 182 [3] – the need for cardio-protection systems and adequately trained personnel becomes paramount in ensuring the health and safety of its residents.

“Every year, over 65,000 people in Italy face the peril of cardiac arrest, and the heartbeat of many could be preserved with timely care. Amidst the serene beauty of places like the Aeolian Islands and Procida, the true challenge is not just the distance, but the timely reach of life-saving care,” Margot Cooijmans, Director of the Philips Foundation, emphasized. “Our commitment at Philips Foundation is to weave the threads of technology, training, and territorial understanding, ensuring every heart continues to beat strongly. Drawing from the perception of dedicated studies, we don't just bring technology, but a vision of sustainable cardiovascular healthcare that touches every life, especially in Europe's most underserved communities.”

As part of the project, AEDs will be set up at strategic locations on the islands. These locations have been identified with the assistance of regional 118 services and through a comprehensive research initiative focused on residential out-of-hospital cardiac arrests [1]. The insights gained from this study are crucial as they provide a scientific and data-driven approach to improving health access and ensuring timely interventions in cardiac emergencies.

Drawing from the perception of dedicated studies, we don't just bring technology, but a vision of sustainable cardiovascular healthcare that touches every life, especially in Europe's most underserved communities.

Margot Cooijmans

Director of the Philips Foundation

Furthermore, the initiative includes a comprehensive awareness and training campaign for the local community, emphasizing cardiac prevention and the proper management of potential adverse events. Qualified personnel from the Italian Red Cross will offer free first aid courses, aiming to engage over 450 regular residents of the islands, as well as several local small businesses.

“Through this initiative, we will provide the tools and skills needed to save lives. The collaboration between Philips Italy, Philips Foundation, and the Italian Red Cross allows us to combine the know-how of these entities and put it at the service of those who, when struck by cardiac arrest, need a targeted and swift intervention. The supply of AEDs and the training of qualified personnel effectively allow us to make entire communities more aware and capable of making a difference when needed,” said Rosario Valastro, President of the Italian Red Cross.

Considering the stable residents of the targeted islands, the project has the potential to enhance, either directly or indirectly, the lives of around 25,000 individuals. Additionally, visitors can now rely on a well-spread network of AEDs and an informed, ready local population.


[1] Politecnico di Milano (2020). Development of a novel framework to propose new strategies for automated external defibrillators deployment targeting residential out-of-hospital cardiac arrests
[2] European Resuscitation Council Guidelines (2021). Epidemiology of cardiac arrest in Europe
[3] Tuttitalia (2022). Demographic indices and structure of Procida


For further information, please contact:


Yannick Eshuijs
Philips Foundation
Tel.: +31 6 1852 6633
LinkedIn Profile

Anna Elena Bellini
Philips Italy
Tel.: 39 329 132 4225

About Philips Foundation

Philips Foundation is a registered non-profit organization established in 2014 – with a mission to provide access to quality healthcare for underserved communities across the globe. By leveraging Philips’ capabilities and combining them with the experience and expertise of non-governmental organizations and other community-focused and impact-driven enterprises, Philips Foundation helps create innovative pathways to open up affordable healthcare for communities most in need. By also partnering with innovative social entrepreneurs rooted in the local ecosystem, Philips Foundation aims to increase access to healthcare for 100 million people a year by 2030.  More information can be found at

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About Royal Philips

Royal Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being through meaningful innovation. Philips’ patient- and people-centric innovation leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver personal health solutions for consumers and professional health solutions for healthcare providers and their patients in the hospital and the home. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, ultrasound, image-guided therapy, monitoring and enterprise informatics, as well as in personal health. News about Philips can be found at

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