Can Open Source Hardware Mechanical Ventilator (OSH-MVs) initiatives help cope with the COVID-19 health crisis? Taxonomy and state of the art
Author(s)Mora, Simone; Duarte, Fábio; Ratti, Carlo
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The field of Open Source Hardware Mechanical Ventilators (OSH-MVs) has seen a steep rise of contributions during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. As predictions showed that the number of patients would exceed current supply of hospital-grade ventilators, a number of formal (academia, the industry and governments) and informal (fablabs and startups) entities raced to develop cheap, easy-to-fabricate mechanical ventilators. The presence of actors with very diverse modus operandi as well as the speed at which the field has grown, led to a fragmented design space characterized by a lack of clear design patterns, projects not meeting the minimum functional requirements or showing little-to-no innovation; but also valid alternatives to hospital-grade devices. In this paper we provide a taxonomic system to help researchers with no background in biomedical engineering to read, understand and contribute to the OSH-MV field. The taxonomy is composed of ten properties that are read through the lenses of three reflection criteria: buildability, adoptability and scalability. We applied the taxonomy to the analysis of seventeen OSH-MV projects, which are representative of the current landscape of possibilities available for COVID-19 patients. We discuss the different design choices adopted by each project highlighting strengths and weaknesses and we suggest possible directions for the development of the OSH-MV field.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. SENSEable City Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Media Laboratory
Mora, Simone et al. "Can Open Source Hardware Mechanical Ventilator (OSH-MVs) initiatives help cope with the COVID-19 health crisis? Taxonomy and state of the art." HardwareX 8 (October 2020): e00150.
Final published version