On April 1, Stratasys and a team of Boston-area anesthesiology residents launched the CoVent-19 Challenge, inviting designers and engineers from around the world to come up with a design for a rapidly deployable, minimum viable mechanical ventilator to help treat COVID-19 patients. This week, the challenge moved into its finalist round, and seven submissions out of 200 have been selected to participate.
The seven finalist teams will now have to 3D print a prototype of their ventilator designs so that they can be evaluated by a team of judges led by a dozen anesthesiology resident physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital. “Healthcare systems around the world continue to face a period of great uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Richard Boyer, Founder and Director of the CoVent-19 Challenge. “Will they be able to provide invasive mechanical ventilation to all who need it? As anesthesiologists, we are experts at using ventilators to care for critical ill patients and believe there is an opportunity for innovative new designs particularly for areas where standard mechanical ventilators may be hard to obtain.”
The seven projects moving into the finalist round of the CoVent-19 Challenge are the following:
- SmithVent: developed by a team from Smith College in Northhampton, Massachusetts
- CORE Vent: developed by Ross Hunter of Armadilla Ltd. in Edinburgh, Scotland
- InVent Pneumatic Ventilator: designed by San Francisco-based design and engineering firm fuseproject, in collaboration with medical device company Cionic and a Seattle-based mechanical engineering team from Accenture
- RespiraWorks: submitted by a team made up of dozens of engineers and healthcare workers focused on developing devices for low-resource communities and developing nations
- OP Vent: designed by a team from California companies Nvidia and Waymo, as well as Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System
- Lung Evolve: developed by an engineering team from the Universidad Nacional in Bogotá, Colombia and Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín
- Baxter Ventilator: designed by a team of educators, students and alumni from the Baxter Academy for Technology and Science in Portland, Maine
The seven ventilator designs, hosted on GrabCAD, will be built with support from three Stratasys application engineers, who will help the seven finalists to build their prototypes using Stratasys 3D printers. The prototypes will then be judged based on performance and evaluated to determine the best option for safety, reliability, manufacturability, affordability and simplicity. With time being of the essence, the CoVent-19 Challenge judges aim to pick a winning design by the beginning of June, after which the goal will be to bring the device to market with FDA approval.
“The CoVent-19 Challenge has been an amazing demonstration of what’s possible when a global community of innovators comes together for the common good,” said Scott Crump, Stratasys Chief Innovation Officer and a judge in the challenge. “In one month, we have gone from a problem statement to remarkably creative solutions from students and professionals, engineers and designers, from everywhere. It brightens my spirit during what is otherwise a pretty dark time for our world.”
The CoVent-19 Challenge is supported by Stratasys as well as sponsorships from Ximedica, Valispace, HackFund and Yelling Mule.