Deca-Medics Wins NASA Tech Briefs ‘Create the Future’ Competition With CPR Aid Designed In SolidWorks 3D CAD Software
Life Saving CPR Belt Stands Out From More Than 1,000 Entries
CONCORD, Mass., USA, May 4, 2009 – A belt that helps emergency responders administer more effective CPR chest compressions to cardiac arrest victims, designed with SolidWorks® software, is the winning design in the annual NASA Tech Briefs “Create the Future Design Contest.”
NASA Tech Briefs editors chose Thomas Lach’s LifeBelt® resuscitator design from 1,091 submissions, the largest number in the competition’s seven-year history. Lach, president and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based Deca-Medics, won the $20,000 grand prize with his design of a compact, lightweight belt that encircles a cardiac arrest victim’s chest and helps emergency medical crews administer compressions for longer periods by providing half the force needed. It also helps them apply the proper amount of force by monitoring compressions to make sure they’re not too deep or shallow. A rescuer can start CPR with the LifeBelt in 15 seconds or less. Lach developed the LifeBelt concept over a two- to three-year period using sketches, then worked with engineering partner Priority Design to refine it. Chris Cecinas, a SolidWorks® 3D CAD user at Priority Design, rendered the LifeBelt design in 3D for prototyping.
Since winning the contest, Lach said Deca-Medics has been contacted by companies from all over the world interested in helping bring the technology to market.
“With ‘hands-only’ CPR, the average rescuer is capable of producing effective chest compressions for only about two minutes, far shorter than the typical eight- to 10-minute emergency response time,” Lach said. “LifeBelt reduces fatigue and promotes longer-duration compressions, increasing the likelihood of a successful resuscitation. Most cardiac arrests occur in homes and businesses. With the medical community re-emphasizing the value of CPR in cardiac arrest cases, we’re designing the LifeBelt to be inexpensive and durable enough to become as common as first aid kits.”
NASA Tech Briefs magazine started Create the Future Design Contest in 2002 to reward engineering innovation. It attracts hundreds of ideas from engineers, designers and students every year. Previous grand prize-winning ideas have included a low-friction gear set for electric vehicles; a portable, noninvasive bone and joint damage detection device; an improved fastening system for orthopedic splints and casts; a low-cost in-vehicle emergency warning device; an integrated motor/fluid pump that reduces size and weight while increasing performance; and a new long-lasting light source material for safety applications. Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. is among the competition’s sponsors, along with COSMOL, Hewlett-Packard, and National Instruments.
“The Create the Future Design Contest is a great venue for highlighting engineering innovation, and it’s particulary satisfying to us as a sponsor when the recognition helps companies like Deca-Medic expand their business,” said Christine Washburn, vice president, marketing Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.
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