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A Holograph That Can Save Lives

Problem: Too many volunteers do poor-quality CPR. Solution: CPReality, a holographic application that shows virtual blood-flow.

Some 18 percent of American adults have current training in CPR delivery, according to Benjamin Abella, MD, MPhil, director of Penn’s Center for Resuscitation Science. About two thirds of American adults say they have received CPR training at some point. Yet statistics from the American Heart Association show that CPR saves the lives of just 20 to 30 percent of people with sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital.

Enter Marion Leary. Seeing the demand by the medical community for improving CPR training through emerging tech such as augmented reality, Leary and her team partnered with Laerdal Medical, inventors of CPR training manikins. Together they adapted Microsoft’s holographic computer, HoloLens, to convert manikin sensor readings into visceral renderings of blood flow. While the trainee performs CPR on the manikin, she can see the heart pumping and blood moving inside as if she has X-ray vision. (See for yourself in the video below.) Afterward, the hologram reveals a CPR quality score calculated from sensor data and an industry-endorsed algorithm.

Her invention, CPReality, won the 2016 AppItUP contest sponsored by the Penn Center for Innovation.

Marion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH, FAHAMarion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH, FAHAThe newly appointed Innovation Specialist in Penn Nursing’s Office of Nursing Research, Leary adds this role to her position as Director of Innovation Research at the Center for Resuscitation Science in the Perelman School of Medicine, her duties as Course Director for N389, the Research/Inquiry-based Service Residency, and instructor in the Masters of Public Health Program. Her work as Innovation Specialist has her helping Penn Nursing lead the way in innovating around health, wellbeing, and health care.

As if her Penn responsibilities left time for anything else, Leary serves on the American Heart Association’s Science subcommittee—and has founded ImmergeLabs, a Penn UPStart company that uses virtual reality and augmented reality platforms to improve emergency response training. Her work has earned her the honor of 2017 Geek of the Year in the seventh annual Philly Geek Awards.

Leary even innovates in her “leisure” time. In 2011, she founded Sink or Swim Philadelphia, one of the first crowdfunded nonprofits. The organization allows people on social media or its website to assist uninsured or underinsured area residents. The group raises the money and then makes payments directly to the recipient’s medical institution. “We were really at the very beginning of the social media crowdfunding era,” she says.