A student trains on a CPR dummy

Training to save lives with mixed-reality

BrickSimple delivers emergency training using HoloLens

The need for a better training experience

The University of Pennsylvania needed a better way to train students in CPR by allowing them to practice in realistic environments.

A mixed-reality approach

BrickSimple, an innovation technology company, designed CPReality, an intuitive CPR app that allows the user to receive real-time visual feedback.

A more involved training process

Using augmented reality, trainees now experience cutting-edge visualizations and utilize real-time feedback to help improve the training process.

In 2003, BrickSimple was founded with the mission to solve the world’s most challenging problems using innovative technology. Since then, BrickSimple’s creative and technically-skilled developers have been delivering services and software solutions to clients across a diverse set of vertical markets.

BrickSimple leverages its Microsoft partnership to create truly next-generation user experiences. Recently joining mixed-reality partner program (MRPP), BrickSimple has developed innovative solutions that incorporate the true breadth of Microsoft Mixed Reality technologies.

Creating a realistic training environment

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn), established in 1740, needed a better way to train students in CPR by allowing them to practice in realistic environments. Penn found that when put into emergency situations, many people forget key aspects of their CPR training due to complicating factors that include the management of bystanders in an emergency setting and other environmental factors.

Another challenge for training in CPR is providing trainees timely feedback on pressure, angle of compression, timing, and depth.

BrickSimple, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, worked to increase the effectiveness and realism of CPR training using HoloLens technology. BrickSimple developed CPReality, an augmented reality application that can collect data on performance while simulating the stresses that often accompany emergency situations.

Using this technology, BrickSimple finally makes it possible to simulate these challenges in order to provide the best training possible.

“Mixed Reality enables us to integrate vital and actionable information within the real world.”

— Det Ansinn, Founder & President, BrickSimple


BrickSimple was able to design and develop the first intuitive CPR app that allows the user to receive real-time visual feedback on the effectiveness of their CPR technique. Sensors provide the ability to grade a student on 15 different parameters that are key to mastering CPR techniques.

This was one of the first real augmented reality CPR prototypes developed with clinical data to back it up since as we know, validation is paramount in the healthcare space.

Successful CPR training includes multiple components, all of which have to work together in order to reproduce what is, at best, only 30% of what the average heart pumps. This leaves slim margins for any mistakes when performing this life-giving task.

“Using the Microsoft HoloLens for our CPReality application is allowing us not only to train healthcare providers with the skills to perform CPR, but it allows them to visualize in a dynamic and responsive way, why the quality of their CPR is so vitally important to increasing blood flow during a cardiac arrest.”

— Marion Leary, Resuscitation Science Researcher, University of Pennsylvania

One of the biggest discoveries has been that mixed reality work has immediate and valuable use cases that aren’t dependent on breakthrough technologies that always seem to be a year down the road. Mixed Reality through Microsoft technologies has immediate real-world uses in some very specific cases.

CPR training is primed for augmented reality. The layers of data visualization allow the trainee to accurately visualize how their technique affects the internals of a human body, allowing them to hone their abilities with visual feedback.


  • Improves CPR performance by showing blood flow activity to the heart, lungs, and brain.
  • Detailed simulation metrics are shown at the end of the experience to help improve performance and technique over time.
  • Validation is critical in healthcare.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Using Microsoft HoloLens, BrickSimple revolutionized CPR teaching tools. Starting with an immersive, MR training program, users can experience the mechanics of a cardiopulmonary emergency.

Through Microsoft HoloLens, users are directed in the correct CPR technique as a trainer views measured effectiveness. Participants are able to visualize CPR in a way that gives them insight into how their technique translates to effects on a human body. The solution for The University of Pennsylvania was made possible by the Microsoft Hololens and integrated with a modern CPR manikin.

“The Microsoft HoloLens AR device allows the user to become emotionally and viscerally immersed in a simulated environment. An inherent power of AR for healthcare provider training is that it can simulate rare-occurring events in a dynamic yet safe environment.”

— Marion Leary, Resuscitation Science Researcher, University of Pennsylvania

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