As the internet comes together to try to reduce the impending shortage of ventilators during the first wave of COVID-19 cases, I’ve been looking for an organization to help. I can’t say I’ve found one to put all my energy into yet, but I thought it would be handy to have a list of the organizations I’ve found, and a list of references that could be valuable for people designing and manufacturing medical equipment and devices (whether they’re masks or ventilators).
Epidemiological Data Sources:
A long list of relevant problems in a variety of domains from EightyGram.
Funding sources for COVID-19 specific drugs, devices, and ideas per the White House.
Sam Altman is willing to help you find funding (or fund himself? I’m not sure) for big ideas.
Sites Collating COVID-19 projects
- The Coronovirus Tech Handbook
Organizations Working on Local Responses
- Open Ventilator Registry (inspired by this NYT article)
- Building a website to track ventilator needs and availability in real time.
- Kaggle AI challenge on COVID-19 dataset
- Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dataset (no specific software focus)
Facemasks, shields and other PPE:
- Some general notes on vents, since they’re the hardest device to make in all this, and there should be a good reason to put in all that effort:
- The world’s total production capacity for vents is 40-50,000/year (source).
- The US has ~160,000 ventilators, of which 98,000 either are not appropriate for managing ARDS or require additional oversight by medical staff (source).
- We’re going to need hundreds of thousands of additional ventilators just in the US (source).
- Some of these are submitted FDA for review under their Emergency Use Authority. I think this is the only way we will see vents available in time for peak first wave, given the timeline manufacturers are giving and the timeline to get a 510(k). I’m not sure what effect this has on 21 CFR 820 inspections that would happen in the case of a 510(k) device, but I really doubt that a distributed manufacturing supply chain could be inspected in that time.
- Another point: the PREP Act was initiated on 2/4/2020 for COVID-19. This provides liability immunity to anyone making or using an FDA approved device except in cases of ‘willful misconduct’ (I don’t think even DHHS knows what that means — the courts will have to decide). Assuming that the FDA approves devices and supply chains, this provides strong incentive for people to donate time/resources to solve the problem.
- An organized list from Public Invention and EndCoronaVirus.org (it includes many of the designs listed below).
- This replaces my list as it is significantly more thorough.
Ventilator Design Competitions
- Code Life Ventilator Challenge – a $200K (CAD) reward for the best open source, easy to manufacture ventilator. Not really a project, but you can submit your project to them.
- CoVent-19 Challenge
References for device design:
- Ventilator design:
- The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s guidelines for Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator Systems.
- Guidelines for setting ventilators: https://www.rwhs.org/sites/default/files/airlink-factsheet-ventsettings.pdf
- A long list of references for design/treatment of/with ventilators.
Mask and Face Shield Manufacturing References:
- Face Shields
Computing to help understand the virus: