A makeshift ventilator for $150
The University of Minnesota is touting makeshift ventilators made from $150 in parts as potential solutions amid the shortage of equipment at healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a report in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, researchers tested the prototype on a pig, keeping the animal breathing for an hour and confirming the possibility of building these homemade devices to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
The researchers developed the mechanical ventilator as a compact device the size of a cereal box that does not require pressurized oxygen or air supply, unlike commercially available mechanical ventilators. According to a website dedicated to the device, dubbed the “Coventor,” in collaboration with the university and local industry leaders, the researchers acquired the necessary components to assemble thousands of ventilators per week, with all of them currently shipping from Minneapolis.
A few weeks after first revealing their project, researchers at the University of Minnesota announced that the FDA granted the Coventor emergency use authorization (EUA).
A Boston Scientific spokesperson told MassDevice that the company will act as the sole manufacturer of the Coventor, having brought the concept through its product development process in just days.
Boston Scientific plans to begin with a limited run of products and scale up in accordance with demand as the coronavirus outbreak continues to develop. The company will sell the Coventors at cost — at approximately $1,000 per device.