In the most high stakes Lab on the Cheap project to date, a team of researchers is working on developing an open design for an emergency ventilator. These life-saving machines are in short supply at hospitals around the world. They can cost $30,000 each.
Originally designed by students as part of a class, this design centers around an Ambu-bag which is a common device in hospitals, used in emergency situations to manually provide ventilation to patients for very short periods of time. They are developing a device to automatically pump the bag with the control necessary for long term ventilated patients.
Importantly, they are most concerned about the safety of their designs and device. They are doing extensive testing and working on FDA approval. They are “releasing design guidance (clinical, mechanical, electrical/controls, testing) on a rolling basis as it is developed and documented” to enable other teams to work in parallel with them. And they emphasize that “any solution should be utilized only in a healthcare setting with direct monitoring by a clinical professional.”