Designing ventilators for Covid-19

Interesting video about the type of ventilators required for Covid-19 patient and why simple bag squeezing ventilators might not be great for patients.

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As in past one day, not happening. Interesting mention about a low cost design with an Android phone UI however the unit cannot be exported due to Indian government restrictions on medical equipment leaving their country.

It seems that many countries have stockpiles of broken ventilators they have not considered will be quicker to fix than make from new.

If they open up the design for any manufacturer to make it would be good. I can’t remember if it was mentioned that this was happening or not.

Can’t you just imagine there are units with simple fixes, maybe bad power supplies, or in need of new hoses, etc. But then there are likely older models that can no longer be software upgraded. Each unit would have to be re-certified no doubt.

The pessimist in me thinks any new design, especially if it has potential of disruptive pricing, will end up like combustion engines capable of 100 MPG. Don’t these ventilators cost $25K - $50K? From the YT video you posted, that company was doing 225 per week, gearing up to 500. Let’s say they are selling their unit for $50K. $25M per week could buy a lot of lobbyists.

Absolutely. However, open up the design, make it open source, make it so that more manufacturers can make these. What are the big machine makers going to do? Litigate against everyone? Granted, in the US, where hospitals have relationships with equipment manufacturers, pharma firms, and insurance companies, they risk getting those relationships being severed; in this current climate, doing so may be economic suicide given the backlash that would cause.

In other countries, this could work better. For the NHS in the UK, rapid manufacture of this would work as individual hospitals are not tied to any one manufacturer (economies of scale is king). In Australia too, this would work; Private hospitals are even working with public hospitals to accept any overflows that Covid-19 may bring.

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This story was previously in the news headlines. Hadn’t seen the Bloom Energy video until you provided the link. Hope we find out from a technical standpoint, details of the fixes being applied. Video shows what look to be batteries lined up on the work bench. These units no doubt have a UPS. Makes me wonder if they have software logic that disables the unit when battery voltage is too low. The story quotes delivering on Saturday and back in service by Monday. Something as simple as replacing a battery and re-certifying?

Yeah it shows the wasteful nature of our Health systems when some of the faults are so basic and easy to fix.