The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has collapsed the world’s health systems. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) report states that approximately 14% of infected people will present severe symptoms and another 6% will develop critical symptoms. This fact alone places countries whose healthcare system is unable to respond to the enormous demand placed by these severe and critical cases in a state of alert.
The ventilator or artificial respirator is one of the most needed medical devices for patients with respiratory failure, it helps patients breathe by introducing and extracting air from their lungs.
In Latin America, most hospital ventilators are imported. Therefore, fears of not having enough respirators to treat critical cases that will have dire consequences have raised an alert.
OpenVenti is a project integrating the efforts of individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors, all contributing with resources, infrastructure, knowledge, and experience, to establish a viable alternative for manufacturing ventilators for hospital use. These can be produced locally in Latin American countries currently facing difficulties in importing and having access to this device.
Specific objectives include:
Reliability, this is a robust product mechanically and electronically. This is achieved with an IoT YuBox Node board, this controller drives the electronics accurately managing air volume and the pressure generated by a medical-grade blower and other specialized sensors.
OpenVenti’s solution is overwhelmingly different from the emerging DIY solutions posted online and deemed as “War-time Medicine”. OpenVenti’s proposition is one of long duration and can be used in hospitals long after the current worldwide emergency.
Although this is a first-class product, one of the objectives is affordability. OpenVenti is targeting a mere cost of $450.00 USD, by contrast, other mechanical artificial respirators cost tens of thousands of dollars limiting its access to many. To achieve the set objectives the design team is applying these 3 strategies:
The project is developed over a team collaboration platform where a multi-discipline team with experience in research & development from the private and academic sectors collaborate in different technical realms.