There are numerous studies and researches that conclude the fact that the mechanical ventilators used today remain bulky, costly, and only for the use in hospital settings. There is a large amount of work needed to move open source ventilators up to the level considered scientific-grade equipment, and even further work needed to reach medical-grade hardware. Furthermore, even the nurses should have thorough knowledge of the modes of ventilation, assessment, and the trouble shooting of ventilators and assessment and care of the patients requiring mechanical ventilation. The results also showed that there were issues with the sensors connected to the ventilators, noise level from alarms and routines concerning sanitation.
India has entered the third week of the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the virus-infected cases are rising daily. COVID-19 is known to affect the patients' respiratory system and can lead to death if the patient is not provided ventilator support on time. A ventilator is a medical device that assists the patients' breathing and maintains the respiratory physiology functionality artificially. With the soring COVID-19 cases, it has been a great challenge to meet the demand for ventilators. The present government has also asked medical device manufacturers to assess the availability of ventilators and boost their production. However, the government is also looking for the proposal of cost-effective and indigenous made ventilators from government organizations, IITs, and startups. While most of the proposed and shared ventilator designs are based on bag valve masks (Ambu bag), there is no cost-effective design available that can replicate the functionality and operating conditions of the high-end ventilators. Here we propose a cost-effective microcontroller-based ventilator design that can be operated for controlled volume/pressure mode including Assist control (AC), Pressure Support (PS) and Pressure Support Ventilation (PSV) with positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP). While these operating settings will be an integral part of the control algorithm, the basic setting can be adjusted by respiratory rate, tidal volume, FiO2, and PEEP.
Our goal is to live up to all the demands that are necessitated in an ailment like this. Therefore, we have tried to develop a ventilator which can facilitate us in solving the present market gap by being:
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The innovation which we have been working on is unique because of its small size and its gas pump mechanism which delivers the air into the patient. This gas pump mechanism consists of an ambu bag pressed by two mechanical crescent shaped cam arms, which are turned by the DC motor, to increase the pressure of the ambu bag to deliver air to the lungs. This unprecedented design solves two major problems:.
Pressure and air are delivered to the patient by a simple pressing mechanism instead of bulky compressor-based operation of the current ventilator. This compressor-based operation increases the complexity of the ventilator, therefore making it difficult to operate; and also if anything goes faulty it takes a lot of time to be repaired as well. This complexity creates a problem in the increased load operations, required during the time of an epidemic like this. Our model has a very simple functionality and can be easily understood by the staff operating it. It also has easily replaceable parts for faster and effortless operations. Also due to the above-mentioned reason the power consumption of our ventilator is way lower than the current ventilator, so we have attached batteries and made it portable. This is to help in emergency conditions when there is a small time power outage or the patient is on the move. The principles of operation of the ventilator are illustrated by the block diagram in figure
The Ventilator technical information: Principles of Operation
The products available in the market today are way too costly. They cost around 10 lakh rupees while our product will only cost around 10-15 thousand rupees, but will deliver most of the functionalities. But, the current market is different, comparing our product with other low cost ventilators, we have smaller size and reduced power consumption and unlike others, our product is portable. The cost of manufacturing our product is amidst 10-12 thousand rupees while the selling price will be close to 20 thousand rupees. On the production of 1000 or more pieces, the cost of manufacturing will drop from the initial 20,000 rupees to 12,000 rupees. Due to this change in the cost of production and its simpler design, the product can be produced in more number in lesser time than the currently available ventilators.