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Portuguese student responds to pandemic crisis with open source ventilators

Shared by Ana Ribeiro on 2020-03-13 16:27

About the solution

João Nascimento, a Portuguese Neurosciences and Philosophy student at Harvard University, was paying close attention to the news reports about the spread of the new strain of coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 disease. João noticed that one of the biggest problems was the lack of ventilators available to treat every patient that would need them. The news were reporting that doctors in some places had to make difficult decisions about who should get the few ventilators available versus who should not… and he wondered “if there couldn’t be any alternative production process, a solution that could be scalable and produced through 3D printing, for example”.

So, he took to Twitter and launched the appeal: “We are working on open source ventilators in order to have a fast and easy solution to be reproduced and assembled locally worldwide. If you have any skills that you consider might help, join us @https://www.projectopenair.org/

In less than 24 hours, more than 500 answered his appeal and joined the work group, through the Slack platform, in a joint attempt to “find new, accessible and fast ways of developing medical equipment”. The group counts with experts in engineering and medicine from leading institutions worldwide, but it is open to everyone willing to join.

João Nascimento was not expecting so many people to get involved in so little time but he believes “This project is the biggest proof that, when humanity gets together, all barriers can be overcome”

As of April 2020, the project launched a proof of concept of a minimalist pressure-controlled emergency ventilator for COVID-19. It was designed to be built with easy to find materials anywhere in the world, with a cost of assembly estimated to be around 1000/2000$ depending on the materials used. The document detailing the information on the design and instruction for assembly is available here: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A...

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2TLHxuf

More information: https://www.projectopenair.org/

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

João Nascimento, born in Portugal and studying Neurosciences and Philosophy at Harvard University, created an online community of experts and citizens working together to develop open source ventilators to help healthcare services face the challenges imposed by Covid-19.

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