Ventilator to support the COVID response -[UPDATE** Invited to submit working paper to government (NAVY)]
About the Project
I'm a Trauma, acute care and humanitarian surgeon (based in Vancouver, Canada), direct a health systems NGO, and have a couple of medtech startups looking at devices and software for low-resource settings. One of them is Metric Technologies.
We've been working on a low cost, basic ventilator. One of us led a group at Rice University who developed a working prototype that will meet the global COVID needs - though in a non-intuitive way.
I have a team of front-line intensive care docs, pulmonary mechanics PhDs, and experienced engineers that are ramping up to take this on. Given our current resources we are projecting a maximum 3 month time-frame to develop a product and hand it off to regulators. Expected cost per unit under $300.
With more resources (more engineers, a manufacturing partner, a stream-lined regulatory approval process, money, distribution partners) we could shave another 2-6 weeks off that.
Ultimately out goal is to get ventilators, AND a deployment, logistical strategy to clinicians and health systems globally to save lives.
It's actually more complicated than dumping new cheap vents in hospitals. For the most serious cases of COVID SARS, pretty advanced forms of ventilatory support will be required (ARDSnet protocols etc). Plus there will be a need for training, support, skilled staff, beds etc... all systems we're comfortable building. And that's not to mention all of the special exemptions we will need to get these ventilators in the hospitals themselves. You can't just use an untrusted, unproven device on patients.
We have a strategy that addresses all of that.
New, cheap ventilators will help, but I believe that there is more to the discussion and solution than an engineering project. Our group understands the problem, has a breadth and depth of relevant expertise, and with a little (lot! of) support could get this done quicker and better. We are looking for collaborators, supporters, funders, critiquers.
Asking for help. Happy to talk and share ideas. Ready to collaborate and work with anyone.
Expedited regulatory pathways, manufacturing partner with engineers to embed into our team, funds
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