Low-cost cardboard CPR training kit can potentially save millions of lives

”The next generation of CPR training should be promoted all over the world for the target of global sustainable development,” says the inventor, Shuai Li.
October 12, 2021

More than 540,000 Chinese people die from sudden cardiac death each year. The survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is less than 1% in China, which is relatively lower than the other countries. Shuai Li, a multi-disciplinary designer born and raised in Inner Mongolia, China, with an industrial design and interaction design background who recently graduated from Umeå Institute of Design in the northern part of Sweden, is about to change that. His master theses is called CANNE — a home-delivered and self-directed CPR training kit.

— At Umeå Institute of Design, when looking into the issues of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest worldwide, I found that the CPR implementation rate is super low in developing countries. I identified the reasons for that being low CPR training opportunities, high cost for training equipment, and less motivation for the lay public. To encourage more laypeople to learn CPR in this situation [out of hospital, Ed’s note], CANNE provides an ecosystem to motivate laypeople to learn CPR at a low cost. It saves time and medical resources and has a minimal requirement for the learning environment, Li tells, continuing,

— It’s a sustainable and cheap corrugated cardboard basic life support (BLS) learning kit that allows laypeople to practice CPR, such as cardiac arrest identification, chest compression, and ventilation by themselves. The BLS self-directed application on the smartphone additionally enhances the learning experience by simulating cardiac arrest scenarios and emergency medical services (EMS), providing real-time feedback of compression and ventilation, as well as encouraging lay people to join a final examination and granting an online BLS certificate. CANNE can replace the traditional CPR course as well as the training equipment and can be used in all parts of the world where people have a smartphone.

What are the problems with conventional CPR kits?

— Mainly the cost, so for the vast population in developing countries, the opportunities to get proper training are far limited.

With CANNE, Shuai Li just won the Swedish national competition for James Dyson Award, open to student engineers with the ability and ambition to solve future problems. The winning inventions are selected by Sir James Dyson, who bases his choice on ingenuity, development, and commercial capacity. With students from 27 different countries, the competition addresses a wider range of global issues than ever before. Furthermore, CANNE recently was named one of the ”Best of the Year” ideas at the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2021.

— From my side, I saw a huge potential for CANNE to raise the survival rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, particularly in developing countries, by addressing the local, societal, and cultural needs. And being the national winner gives me a stronger feeling that the next generation of CPR training should be promoted all over the world for the target of global sustainable development.

I heard that your next step is to turn this into a commercial product. How is it going?

— My thesis is in collaboration with global company Laerdal Medical AS, which develops products and programs for healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes and survival rates. Now, we’re together discussing the potentials of CANNE. Before it goes to the next step of development and commercialization, there are still multi-stage needs to go through to validate my concept for better usability. When reflecting on my thesis, the motivation of addressing the global needs has led me to dive deeper into my topic. I encourage everyone to learn CPR by themselves or join a proper course — the gift of life is in your hands now! Li concludes.