Typically, a typical ventilator used to treat coronavirus costs around $10,000
Rice University has developed a new ventilator that could help the global coronavirus pandemic at just a fraction of the cost to manufacture at $300.
Last year, Rice students used 3D technology to create a prototype.
But as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, they joined with a Canadian company to develop a more robust version.
Typically, a typical ventilator used to treat coronavirus costs around $10,000.
The executive director of the engineering department, Amy Kavalewitz, said that the low-cost ventilator would be an option for non-critical patients.
“The immediate goal is a device that works well enough to keep non-critical COVID-19 patients stable and frees up larger ventilators for more critical patients,” said Kavalewitz.
Dr. Rohith Malya, who saw the need first-hand for automated bag valve masks at hospitals in Thailand, said:
“This project appeals to our ingenuity, it’s a Rice-based project, and it’s for all of humanity.”
“We’re on an urgent timescale,” she added.
“We decided to throw it all on the table and see how far we go.”
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Thomas Herring, an electrical and computational engineering student, said it has been exciting to use the skills he had learned at Rice to build a product that could potentially save lives.
As for what’s next, the design team, which consists of students, faculty, and a company called Metric Technologies, is finalizing a prototype by the end of the month.
The team is working closely with physicians and others to make sure they hit all the required milestones to put the product out to the public.
“We are going to put it together in a way that others can produce after we’ve responsibly tested it, and we feel confident that we can put it out there for others to make,” said Amy Kavalewitz, an executive director at Rice University.