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Students’ invention has hearts beating

BY SAMANTHA FEX | FEB 11 2008

Engineering graduates Nilesh Patel and Corey Centen never imagined that a design project in their final year at McMaster University would have such a huge impact.

Their creation, the CPRGlove, is designed to help with the tricky task of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The latex-spandex glove is equipped with sensors that tell the user how fast and how deep to make the chest compressions that are the basis of CPR. The glove comes with an optional heart rate monitor, offers audio and visual feedback, and works for both left-handed and right- handed individuals.

The CPRGlove has won several awards in engineering competitions, including first place for innovative design at the Ontario Engineering Competition in February 2007. It was also featured in Popular Science magazine as one of the top 10 inventions last year, and in Time magazine as one of the best health inventions of the year.

Mr. Patel and Mr. Centen came up with the idea in the fall of 2006, after reflecting on their own CPR training in high school – neither could remember how to do it properly. “We knew there were chest compressions involved and breathing involved, but we weren’t sure of the numbers and how deep you were really supposed to go,” says Mr. Patel.

Researching the potential for such a device, the two students came upon a 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that trained personnel often perform CPR incorrectly both in and outside the hospital.

The two inventors, along with fellow student Sarah Smith, have set up a company to develop and market the glove and are currently in talks with potential manufacturers. Mr. Patel says there will be two different product versions: an emergency home-use version and a more-advanced version for CPR training.

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