2009

Life-Saving CPR Device Wins Create The Future Design Contest

LifeBelt® CPR, a new device that makes it easy for anyone to perform high-quality CPR compressions in the event of cardiac arrest, has won the $20,000 grand prize in the 2008 Create the Future Design Contest sponsored by Tech Briefs Media Group and Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. Lifebelt was among a record 1,091 entries in the seventh annual contest.

Developed by Thomas Lach of Deca-Medics Inc., Columbus, OH, LifeBelt overcomes a critical limitation of “hands-only” CPR: the average rescuer is only capable of producing effective chest compressions for about two minutes, far shorter than the typical eight to ten minute emergency response time. With LifeBelt, half as much force is needed, resulting in less fatigue and longer-duration compressions – increasing the likelihood of a successful resuscitation.

The compact, lightweight device is designed to attach quickly, enabling a rescuer to start CPR in 15 seconds or less. An intuitive readout warns if the compression depth is too deep or shallow, giving the rescuer confidence that he or she is pushing properly.

“Most cardiac arrests don’t occur in a hospital or controlled environment,” said Mr. Lach. “They happen at home or at work. This is an easy-to-use product for all of us.”

In addition to the grand prize, first-place winners (of Hewlett-Packard workstations) were named in six categories:

•Consumer Products

Universal Proprietary Water Purifying/Conditioning Multimedia for Bottled Water
Jim Jablonsky, J&M Associates, Hatfield, PA
Filter paper based on nanotechnology is inserted in the drinking cap of a bottle of water to inexpensively and easily remove heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, bad tastes, and odors.

•Machinery/Equipment

Small Area Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor
Mahmoud Assaad, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Akron, OH
This novel sensor enables engineers to identify critical high-temperature zones within a tire structure to design safer tires for cars, trucks, and aircraft.

•Medical

Pediatric Vision Screener – Mark V
Kristina Irsch, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
The PVS simultaneously detects proper alignment and focus of infants’ eyes, enabling early detection of amblyopia or “lazy eye” – the leading cause of vision loss in childhood.

•Safety & Security

Electronic Fog, Frost, and Ice Prevention Technology
Don Skomsky, Integrity Engineering, Inc., West Chester, PA
Tested successfully on Mount Everest (mountain climbers’ goggles), this energy-efficient device predicts and prevents the formation of condensation, frost, and ice on any surface.

•Sustainable Technology

Efficient Air Conditioner
Lindsay Meek, Perth, Australia
Meek’s design reduces power consumption 30% by replacing the traditional reciprocating compressor with a permanent magnet motor coupled to a scroll compressor.

•Transportation

Movito Electric Scooter
Tai Chiem, Melbourne, Australia
Designed for traveling short distances in and around cities, this sleek, environmentally friendly scooter features an electric in-wheel motor.

Finalists were selected by senior editors at Tech Briefs Media Group and judged by an independent panel of design engineers. For the first time, visitors to the contest Web site could vote on entries, with the six most popular designs awarded $100 each.

The winners were announced during a live Webinar and will be profiled in the April 2009 issue of NASA Tech Briefs magazine.

Contest co-sponsors include COMSOL, Hewlett-Packard, and National Instruments. For more information, visit www.createthefuturecontest.com.