Guess we find out something new everyday, and today was the day we found out that CPR doesn’t really work all that well. Seems it works less than 10% of the time, and can cause cracked ribs for older patients.

Therefore, we salute the invention of Swedish University of Applied Sciences graduates Lars Imhof and Marc Binder, who have come up with an automated and actually effective way of performing chest compressions.

The device, which looks like parachute harness strapped to scuba diving gear (now that is sure to confuse fans of both sports), compressed the whole chest at regular intervals. It’s these full contractions which force the blood into the brain much more effectively than what someone could manually achieve.

There’s a flexible back panel which adapts to the shape of the body and can be quickly strapped onto the victim by just one person, and straps on the front, which probably perform the squeezing action. There has to be a small engine somewhere, and batteries, but these are not mentioned.

Reax was the winner of third place (yes, that’s winning too – harder to win real life prizes, you know) at the 2010 James Dyson Award.