A significant proportion of COVID19 patients need to use a ventilator. This is such a high proportion that in the affected countries there are not enough ICU places available to provide all these patients with the care they need. You cannot just order a ventilator. So, now they’re being hauled out of every nook and cranny. But even then this is not nearly enough. That’s why there’s a monumental surge in order to quickly manufacture equipment. The whole world is racing to build ventilators as fast as possible.
Dyson, known for vacuum cleaners, designed ventilator equipment in just 10 days and is going to manufacture 15,000.
Ford, usually known for their cars, promises to produce 50,000 units based on a medical design by General Electric .
At the outset, Tesla director Elon Musk deemed the initial reactions to the corona crisis to be overly exaggerated. In the meantime, Tesla is also going to supply ventilators. They’re not planning on building these themselves. Instead, these units hail from China where Tesla bought up a stock of 1200 machines.
Formula 1 involvement
At the same time, a huge ‘build them yourself’ movement is being created.
The ‘build-them yourself’ movement
Project Open Air
This is more of a platform than a single project. They don’t just focus on a completely new ventilator, but on the components that go with it. And where shortages may occur.
Freebreathing is developing the not-for-profit VentilatorPAL. The Ventilatorpal is an open source solution that is cheaper than existing commercial equipment. The unit is simpler than existing commercial equipment and aimed specifically at treating COVID19 patients.
Respiratory equipment that is easy to build on local sites. The specifications can be downloaded from Gitlab. The machine was designed with the help of doctors and ventilator specialists. The site does warn that the machine is not a full replacement for regular respiratory equipment and should only be used in the absence of an alternative.
Open Source Ventilator (OSV) Ireland
This project differs from other open source projects in that it involves Ireland’s national healthcare provider, the Irish Health Service. The primary aim is to provide an emergency solution for local healthcare providers in Ireland. Yet the design will also be made available to everyone through Gitlab.
A Romanian team designed a system that largely made up of 3d printed parts. Their machine can be operated via a smartphone.
Techcrunch reports that Medtronic, one of the world’s largest suppliers of medical hardware, will share their design of the Puritan Bennett (PB) 560 portable ventilator. This will allow other manufacturers to produce this equipment. The specifications are offered for the duration of the corona crisis and are subject to a special license. Target group are manufacturers of other types of equipment who are now being called upon to contribute to the production of resources that are needed to head off the corona crisis.