By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS 

Augmented reality is transforming various aspects of medicine, and now it’s going to help train people to save lives using CPR.

Augmented reality – a technology that creates views of computer-generated images in real-life environments – already includes medical uses such as training for minimally invasive surgery and doctor-patient notes.

Now, it’ll be used for Hands-Only CPR training on the app My Cardiac Coach, Google and the American Heart Association announced Tuesday. The organizations collaborated to create the CPR feature, which was developed by a medical technology company called Level Ex that creates professional video games for physicians.

Compatible with Android mobile devices, the feature surveys the user’s environment to locate a suitable location to do CPR. It then directs the user through the correct steps for Hands-Only CPR. Set in a gaming framework, players are scored and rated on how well CPR is performed, including whether they delivered chest compressions at the correct rate and depth.

It’s a training option that will join Resusci Anne, the trademarked manikin that has been used since the 1960s to teach CPR.

Training in any form is necessary to help get CPR for the more than 350,000 people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the United States each year. Currently nearly nine out of every 10 people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die.

“The use of augmented reality, in this case with Hands-Only CPR, clearly demonstrates the potential that emerging technologies have to fundamentally transform the delivery of heart health information to the public,” Patrick Wayte, senior vice president of the AHA’s Center for Health Technology and Innovation, said in a news release.

The My Cardiac Coach app is available for download on both iPhone and Android mobile devices. The augmented reality aspect is only available on Android devices.

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