Good mechanical ventilation design requires expensive sensor arrays and specialized hardware? No.
Our ventilator is build from a few injection molded parts, a drone motor, a PCBA with pressure sensors and a large screen, similar to a electonics consumer good.
Everyone can contribute and manufacturing costs are cut by over 10 fold.
The lower tray of the design is the only part that comes into contact with patient's air. Separate it from the upper half and sterilize it in an autoclave after each use.
Electronics and sensors are isolated at the upper sealed compartment, which only needs to be desinfected.
Compressor: a centrifugal blower driven by a precisely controlled DCBM to regulate pressure and flow.
Flow sensor: ultrasound time-of-flight sensor based on specialized ICs.
Oxygen sensor: magnetic force sensor based on a volumetric pump and differential pressure sensor driven by an AC magnet. A lock-in amplifier than gets the tiny signal even in a noisy environement.
User Interface: at the core of good design is a good interface to the user. A large capacitive touch screen with big brains for fluid UI, no compromises.
The starting point of the project was the ventilator requirements released by MHRA.
From there we define our problem, create assumptions, a prototype and test it. This cycle is iterated many times as the intial problem "ventilate patient" gets translated into many smaller, more specific problems like "locate a
flow sensor with minimum detection of 1ml/s and accuracy of 5%".
The tools and solutions are selected in the process as a result of what is needed for a prototype and a test.
All of the effort is documented on Git, so we have traceability of how the project evolved and can periodically look back.
There are outstanding ventilator solutions quickly created by much more capable teams. Here we are focused on the long term, to make a sustainable ventilator solution for the masses.
Also, it is about hope, about fighting in a time of crises. If you're sick with COVID-19 you should know that creative people are working to help you, with what we know and with what we can.
"I was just guessing, numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart" - Coldplay
"do I really need a phrase Thomas?" - Victoria
"Have an expertise? Are you bored at home? Let's create together"