🦠 Ventilators COVID-19: Understand the pressing challenges behind the urgent manufacturing of ventilators to fight the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Crowdsourcing initiatives are trying to respond to the high ventilator demandAfter some online research, these are the main initiatives going on:
The automation of simple manual ventilators.
2. Update outdated ventilatorsThis approach suggests the adaptation of the currently-used machinery, like the sleep apnea machine, to meet the requirements of the needed ventilators. Here is the Spanish makers forum AIRE, focused on finding the best options to build or develop low-cost ventilators to fight the COVID-19 crisis.
3. Reduce the cost of current ventilators
This is a low-cost system developed by a group of engineers, businessmen, and medical staff from Zaragoza, Spain. It is a positive pressure / escape libre mask that must be connected frequently to the hospital oxygen supply or oxygen and nitrogen bottles to make the mix.
4. Look for suppliers for the ventilator componentsThe Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organizations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components (e.g. air compressors/pumps, bellows, self-inflating bags, gas mixing valves, pressure regulators, flow control valves, solenoid valves, pressure relief valves, check valves / one-way valves, power supplies, etc.) across the United Kingdom as part of the Government's response to COVID-19. More than 60 manufacturers have been sent a blueprint for making up to 20,000 ventilators to treat coronavirus patients, “at speed”, as Boris Johnson called on British industry to help the government prepare for a surge in cases.
5. Arduino communities to supply the ventilator's electronicsThis Arduino based ventilator is a project consisting of converting a low-cost CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) blower into a rudimentary ventilator that could help with breathing during an acute respiratory attack.
The challenges behind manufacturing ventilators fastHospitals everywhere are right now in need of ventilators for their COVID-19 patients. The different crowdsourcing initiatives to solve the challenge are encountering some difficulties:
- Organizing the incessant and chaotic flow of information published in forums. A good approach has been to summarize daily the most important pieces of news.
- Achieving a simple ventilator design and coming up with a creative process to manufacture and build them in the easiest possible way.
- Estimating the availability and capacity of suppliers and manufacturers to deliver the ventilators (per country).
- What is the minimum value specification for a ventilator to be useful in COVID-19 cases? There are several specifications depending on the symptoms (supply more oxygen, regulate the pressure, etc.).
- Achieve an easy-to-build and simple solution that can be manufactured quickly according to the following criteria:
- Market availability of components.
- Easy to build and manufacture.
- Easy to operate.