The Ultimate Medical Hackathon

In just seven days a group of 300-plus engineers, designers, tech founders and others galvanized on Facebook and built a prototype ventilator using readily available materials, 3D printing and open-source hardware resources.

According to OSV cofounder Colin Keogh, 31, the technology will be validated with Ireland’s Health Services (HSE) as early as this week for use on Covid-19 patients. The Society of Critical Care Medicine estimates up to 960,000 coronavirus patients may need ventilators for life support, the Associated Press reported. Ventilators, which function by blowing air into a patient’s lungs, are an essential treatment for severe cases of Covid-19. In those cases, lung inflammation can develop into viral pneumonia, requiring ventilated breathing support. The prototype from the Open Source Ventilator project’s Ireland group can be assembled from PLA plastic, which is derived from renewables like sugar cane or corn starch and can be manufactured anywhere from a 3D printer.

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