Can low-cost, open-source ventilator designs help save lives? – MIT Technology Review

“MIT researchers hope to publish open-source designs for a low-cost respirator that could potentially help Covid-19 patients struggling with critical respiratory problems.

The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates….”

MIT-based team works on rapid deployment of open-source, low-cost ventilator | MIT News

“One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.

The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12 in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students and faculty working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts, although in the years since prices have gone up and the device would now cost $400 to $500 in materials. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace….”

Robotic microscopy for everyone: the OpenFlexure Microscope – preLights

“Microscopes are an essential tool for clinical applications including diagnosis of infectious pathogens in endemic areas, and for scientific analysis in basic biology and physics labs. However, in much of the world, access to microscopy is limited by the cost of acquisition and maintenance of the imaging equipment. Moreover, in resource-limited settings, the chain of supply of parts that might need repair or replacement might not be as easily available, leading to high-end microscopes being out of service for long times until maintenance can take place. Open-source hardware has the potential to revolutionise the distribution of scientific instrumentation, impacting research in multiple ways, as well as local manufacturing, and education. To this end, in multiple contexts including research and clinics, 3D printers have become increasingly available. As a direct result of this, 3D printing has become a useful platform for prototyping and manufacturing laboratory devices. In their preprint, Collins et al (1) present the OpenFlexure Microscope design, a 3D printed automated microscope capable of motorised sample positioning and focus control (Figure 1)….”

Leveraging Open Hardware to Alleviate the Burden of COVID-19 on Global Health Systems[v1] | Preprints

Abstract:  With the current rapid spread of COVID-19, global health systems are increasingly overburdened by the sheer number of people that need diagnosis, isolation and treatment. Shortcomings are evident across the board, from staffing, facilities for rapid and reliable testing to availability of hospital beds and key medical-grade equipment. The scale and breadth of the problem calls for an equally substantive response not only from frontline workers such as medical staff and scientists, but from skilled members of the public who have the time, facilities and knowledge to meaningfully contribute to a consolidated global response. Here, we summarise community-driven approaches based on Free and Open Source scientific and medical Hardware (FOSH) currently being developed and deployed to bolster access to personal protective equipment (PPE), patient treatment and diagnostics.

 

‘A worldwide hackathon’: Hospitals turn to crowdsourcing and 3D printing amid equipment shortages

“Earlier this month, the CEO of an Italian 3D-printing startup learned that a hospital near the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy was running short on a small but crucial component: the valves that connect respirators to oxygen masks.

The company that makes the valves couldn’t keep up with the demand, and doctors were in search of a solution.

 

“When we heard about the shortage, we got in touch with the hospital immediately. We printed some prototypes. The hospital tested them and told us they worked,” the CEO, Cristian Fracassi, told Reuters. “So we printed 100 valves, and I delivered them personally.”

Similar efforts have popped up around the world. In Liverpool, New York, Isaac Budmen and Stephanie Keefe were printing more than 300 face shields for workers at a coronavirus test site in Syracuse this week, according to The Post-Standard of Syracuse. Budmen and Keefe, who run a business, Budmen Industries, selling custom 3D printers out of their home, turned to a fleet of 16 3D printers in their basement….”

Open-source project spins up 3D-printed ventilator validation prototype in just one week | TechCrunch

“In a great example of what can happen when smart, technically-oriented people come together in a time of need, an open-source hardware project started by a group including Irish entrepreneur Colin Keogh and Breeze Automation CEO and co-founder Gui Calavanti has produced a prototype ventilator using 3D-printed parts and readily available, inexpensive material. The ventilator prototype was designed and produced in just seven days, after the project spun up on Facebook and attracted participation from over 300 engineers, medical professionals and researchers….”

Ultimate Medical Hackathon: How Fast Can We Design And Deploy An Open Source Ventilator? | Hackaday

“What we need is a Nasal cannula-based NIV. This system humidifies air, mixes it with oxygen and then pushes a constant stream of it into people’s lungs.  If we can design a simple and working system we can give those plans to factories around the globe and get these things made. If the factories fail us, let’s also have a version people can make at home….”