A Scientist of Nvidia, the US based tech company has created an open source, low cost and easy to assemble mechanical ventilator.
Bill Dally, the chief scientist of the company has announced this ventilator this week and also released the design and code for anyone who wishes to make on their own, reports TechCrunch.
This ventilator is made with completely off-the-shelf parts costing only an average of $400 per ventilator. This price is significantly cheaper than the conventional ones which cost about $20,000 per ventilator.
"I hope that we don't get so many people sick that we run out of ventilators," Dally said after releasing the design.
"But I want to make sure if we do, something like this is ready," he added.
A ventilator is fundamentally an airflow controller with pressure constraints. It is used to adjust the respiratory rate from 10 to 40 and the inspiratory to expiration time (i:e) ratio is adjustable from 1 to 4. This gives a maximum 3 seconds of intake time. The usable range of settings can be achieved with an intake flow rate of 50L/min. During the intake, pressure is monitored and the flow rate is reduced as required to keep the pressure below a maximum pressure (in the range of 20-60cm H20).
For patients infected with Covid-19, between 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent develop acute respiratory distress syndrome severe enough to need a mechanical ventilator, Dally explains in the following video released by him.
Dally's aim was to build the "simplest possible" ventilator. Because he managed to build the entire ventilator around just two easily sourced key components: a proportional solenoid valve and a microcontroller to regulate the flow of gas through the valve to the patient.
Dally designed this device having input from mechanical engineers and doctors, including Dr Andrew Moore, a chief resident at Stanford University and Dr Bryant Lin, a medical devices expert.
According to these experts, this device can be assembled in as little as five minutes and is small enough to fit in a Pelican case for easy transportation and portability. It also employs fewer parts and uses less energy than similar simple designs that adapt the manual breather bags used by paramedics in emergency response.
Now, Dally's next move is getting the clearance from FDA under the agency's Emergency Use Authorization program for Covid-19 equipment. He is hopeful about partnering with industries to pursue large-scale manufacturing.
Dally has given free access for anybody who wishes to make it, the complete design code documentation can be found here.