We created a low-cost, open-source field emergency ventilator for the world during the COVID-19 crisis
Seeing the shortage of ventilators, Fresh engineers sought to contribute to worldwide efforts to battle COVID-19. The challenge involved learning from successful examples, modernizing the solution, and ensuring that it meets stringent safety standards and requirements.
Worldwide Ventilator, most importantly, is a low-cost and open-source product. Our focus was to ungate reliable ventilator technology and create a universal solution. Because the device is simple, we were able to accomplish our goal. It mirrors natural breathing, using pressure to switch modes and responding seamlessly to assisted and automatic breathing, providing more or less assistance based on the patient’s individual needs.
A ventilator solution for all
Worldwide, dozens of organizations and companies worked on parallel paths with a unified goal: creating ventilators for the expected, unprecedented supply shortage. Whoever solved the challenge can save lives. We knew from the outset that it didn’t need to be our concept but that exploring and testing ideas would strengthen our collective ability to get a solution quickly and safely.
An assisted breathing device
Our device provides assisted breathing, using pressure to switch modes and responding seamlessly to both assisted and automatic breathing. It can do more or less based on the individual's faculties.
The pressure builds on both sides of the bistable fluidic amplifier to determine when to switch. When the lungs fill with air, the device switches to the other side and helps exhalation. And when lungs get too low, the device airstream switches to the other side and allows inhalation, all while keeping a positive pressure throughout. The three knobs on the device set the inhale pressure, the exhale pressure, and the exhale volume's duration, providing further customization for each user.
Inspired by history
The US Army came up with an emergency ventilator in 1965 in collaboration with Harry Diamond and published a positive study of the outcome. Our concept builds on their innovative work.
Fresh and a team of partners came together to replicate the concept and position it to scale after validating that it meets safety standards and requirements.
A continual effort to refine and improve
Our team continues to design, engineer, prototype, and test ventilator concepts with standard hospital tube sizes. Our concept builds on innovative work in fluid dynamics but adds pressure adjustments on inhalation and exhalation. Underlying the effort is an understanding that innovation is incremental: there's rarely a silver bullet solution.
Lasting progress is realized through collaboration, shared learning, and continuous iteration, and Fresh looks forward to being at the forefront with our clients and partners.