MIT wants to publish design of cheap ventilator based on breathing bag

Scientists at the American MIT want to publish a design for a cheap, relatively easy to make respirator. This design assumes automatic control of resuscitators, which are normally used manually.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology team recently put a website about his design online. Simply put, it is a motorized device that automatically compresses the resuscitative balloons widely available in the medical sector, with the result that air and oxygen enter the lungs of the patients. The designs of the device, which will be fully released, are intended to contribute to the shortages of regular ventilators that are beginning to emerge and thus help keep patients affected by Covid-19 alive.

Their MIT Emergency Ventilator Project, or E-Vent, has already been filed with the US regulatory body, the Food and Drug Administration. This has been done under the Emergency Use Authorization scheme, which allows the regulator to quickly authorize the use of unapproved devices for emergencies in exceptional public health crisis situations.

The researchers say they are producing four sets of material that will be posted on the E-Vent website, such as a reference design, instructions and test results based on “animal models.” They indicate that the necessary problems will come to light, as always with scaling up a production process. They therefore see the website as a means of getting feedback and thus making everything suitable and usable for production as quickly as possible.

It’s not entirely clear what the current status of the project and designs is, but MIT Technology Review writes that the research team had already planned to test its devices on pigs last week. It is unclear whether this has already happened and what the results are. An important question will also be whether it is safe and efficient to ventilate a patient with Covid-19 based on the compression of a respiration balloon that is normally only used for a relatively short period and manually.

This project does not suddenly appear out of the blue. About ten years ago, the researchers, then still students, wrote a paper about designing and testing a relatively inexpensive, portable, mechanical respirator that uses respiration balloons. However, production did not get off the ground at the time. In the current design under review by the regulator, some adjustments have been made, such as a metal frame.

The researchers wrote in 2010 that their design is intended for emergencies with high casualty numbers, especially in resource-poor environments and countries, such as developing countries. In these countries, there is a lack of preparation for high casualty situations, such as flu pandemics, they wrote. The researchers wrote at the time that their then design, once produced in larger numbers, should cost less than two hundred dollars each, making it many times cheaper than the regular ventilators that are now so popular in intensive care units in hospitals with relatively high levels of COVID-19. 19 patients to deal with.