Low-Cost Ventilator

Low-cost ventilation solution for COVID-19 pandemic.

  title: Low-Cost Ventilator 
  description: Low-cost ventilator to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
  date started: 03/10/2020
  status: In progress


Many news outlets have been reporting nightmarish scenarios in Italy where physicians are having to select which patients get a ventilator. Projections show the rest of the world is soon to follow. Current data indicates 20% of people that contract COVID-19 require hospitalization. For those hospitalized patients with pneumonia, 42% require Non-Invasive ventilation while 47% require mechanical ventilation according to limited studies out of Wuhan. Given current growth of COVID-19 cases within the USA and the limited number of available ventilators (roughly 100,000), USA doctors will soon face the same decisions being made in Italy.

As such our primary goal is to create a device that can be rapidly reproduced and distributed to address the shortage. We do not anticipate the device being better than existing ventilators, but rather a viable alternative for a subset of patients. According to some of our physician testimony, a significant majority of COVID-19 patients that require ventilation only need a simple ventilation solution.

Many hospitals are already equipped with an inventory of Ambu bags ready for health- care workers to manually ventilate patients in respiratory distress. We believe this existing arsenal can be utilized with our easily reproducible attachment device. Additionally, by automating the use of an Ambu bag, you can importantly reduce the viral load healthcare workers are exposed to. Lastly, our device will be standalone operational, battery-powered, and rechargeable. This helps expand our use cases to rural areas across the country, and to developing countries abroad.

This project summary outlines our prototype design, the necessary materials, and how we envi- sion our prototype evolving past the proof-of concept.