Amazon heats up HeartStart debate

Saturday, April 30, 2005

SEATTLE --'s Health and Personal Care store sparked debate over the idea of in-home defibrillators when it started selling the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator on its Web site.
The FDA in September 2004 cleared the HeartStart for sale without a prescription, making it the first defibrillator to obtain OTC status, according to Philips. Amazon quickly began offering the product.
Since then, the HeartStart has generated a lot of buzz about the use of at-home defibrillators. Reviews posted on Amazon tout the life-saving advantage of having a defibrillator on hand, while others question whether the general public has the training and knowledge necessary to use the item effectively.
"The HeartStart is an example of an innovative product that launched on the site that has been a big success," said an Amazon official. "The Amazon platform with the customer reviews combined with a controversial product can really drive debate."
Amazon also includes graphics on how to properly use the HeartStart and marketing material explaining its benefits.
HeartStart is available on Amazon for $1,495. It was ranked the 66th most popular item in the Health and Personal Care store one day in April.