Reimagining CPR training using virtual reality (and why its got us excited)

Recent research shows CPR training rates have not changed over the past few decades in Australia & that new initiatives are needed. We looked at how VR could add value.

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Why CPR training using VR?


Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. If not treated properly and quickly, it can cause sudden death within 10 minutes. Each year in Australia aprox 25,000 people have a cardiac arrest out of hospital and as few as 5% survive to leave hospital and go home.  

In 2017 Australian researchers did a retrospective analysis of a national cross-sectional survey using data from the Heart Foundation of Australia’s ‘HeartWatch’ Survey. The analysis looked at Australia’s awareness of cardiac arrest and rates of CPR training and found worrying results.

While 56% of respondents reported previous CPR training, only 22% were currently trained (within 1 year) and that lack of CPR training was the most common reason why respondents would not provide CPR to a stranger.

In short as the analysis reports:

There is a need to improve the community’s understanding of cardiac arrest, and to increase awareness and training in CPR. CPR training rates have not changed over the past decades—new initiatives are needed.

The technical challenge in Virtual CPR and why it got us excited


Speaking of new initatives in CPR, Virtual CPR is a training solution developed by registered training organisation, JB Hunter Technology and powered by Snobal.

The training combines virtual learning, followed by a practical assessment session in the virtual environment.

So what excites us about Virtual CPR?

Aside from the fact of using a newer technology (VR) to increase awareness and training levels of CPR, what initially excited our development team about Virtual CPR was the technical challenge presented and innovation possible.

We knew we wanted to provide immediate feedback to learners in a CPR environment if they were doing chest compressions correctly.

Were they doing the chest compressions at the correct pace and with the correct depth?

In the chest compression component of the CPR assessment, the learner needs to align a physical mannequin (which will be supplied) with the virtual manniquin and commence chest compressions.

Using the VR hand controllers the system will measure the depth and rate of the learner chest compressions and display this information in the virtual environment.

If chest compressions are too fast or too slow the learner will get immediate feedback so they can adjust the pace and depth of their compressions accordingly.

The value of this feedback to a learner is obvious.

In a classroom based environment a level of trainer subjectivity can be involved as it maybe difficult for a trainer to assess exactly if a learner is doing compessions at the correct depth for example. But with Virtual CPR this ‘standization’ of training becomes achievable.

Added to that the other benefits of Virtual CPR is convenience. Virtual CPR can be undertaken be a worker in their remote working location. All they need is a wifi connection. The results from their CPR assessment will be relayed over the cloud to the dashboard on Snobal Cloud giving insight on learners.

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In case you missed it

Snobal and Pico Interactive partnership set sights on helping grow global VR for business ecosystem


This week Snobal and Pico Interactive announced their partnership to increase accessibility for VR enterprise content creators and expand business solution offerings.With operations in the United States, Europe, China and Japan, Pico develops VR solutions.


Other news catching our attention

Elon Musk brain implant startup, Neuralink demos tech & what this might mean for VR/AR

Neuralink gaves progress on its first major update in more than a year with a live demonstration of its working Neuralink device inserted in a pigs head. It raises important questions not leaast about the ethical implication of technological innovation in this instance brain computer interface (BCI).

Just because you can does it mean you should?

In a webinar produced by The Australian Society for Computers & Law, Dr Michelle Sharpe (Victorian Barrister) and Dr Allan McCay, a Sydney University Law School lecturer with particular interest in behavioural genetics, neuroscience, neurotechnology explore this complicated issue and the ethics around brain technology interfaces.

BCI becomes all the more interesting when it converges with AR/VR. This is where users’ brain activity enables real-time control of connected devices including VR/AR content and headsets.  

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