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Doing What We Can To Help In A Time Of Crisis: Fighting Against COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has placed the global community under extreme stress, putting a halt on nearly all economic and social activity. The coronavirus contagion has created a massive need for all sorts of medical supplies to treat those who are infected, medical ventilators being one of the critical items. In response, there are many worthy efforts to meet the challenge of supplying ventilators to help hospitals and physicians treat those who are ill.

A humanitarian effort on our part, we are focusing a team on engineering a “Ventilator” to support patients affected by COVID-19 (a ventilator is a respiratory aid for life support of patients with respiratory failure).

Initial Prototype benchtop assembly and testing

Chief among the distinguishing features of the DAMORPHE ventilator project:

There are worthy attempts at robust portable ventilators for emergency use, as well as quickly assembled ventilators for short term use. Our connections in the Houston medical community and coast to coast affected areas, tell us there is still a pressing need for ventilators that can be used for long term use – running uninterrupted and unsupervised for days and weeks, for use where there are many patients in a hospital ward.

The design and architecture sources and uses easily available parts, so there will be no shortages of critical components as high-volume manufacturing of our device scales up.

Layout development for production – ongoing

Hospital grade ventilators typically cost $50,000 or so in the US. Many efforts in response to the coronavirus have produced devices with an order of magnitude saving in cost – approximately $5,000 or so. Our device and architecture promises to reduce that price point of $5,000 by at least 50% so that it should be accessible to many countries including those in the developing world, especially in kit form, with easy assembly.

Several DAMORPHE principals are Rice MBA alumni, together with several physicians from the Houston Life Sciences community. We also have a close relationship with the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE). This close engagement helps us tune our requirements to what is most critical as observed by the Houston physician community.

Intubation – Methodist Hospital MITIE offered us the opportunity to test using their facility

Using our prototype to deliver oxygen