A team of researchers at MIT announced this week that it will publish an open-source design for a low-cost ventilator that could potentially save lives during the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. The ventilators designed by the “MIT Emergency Ventilator Project” will cost just $100 as opposed to up to $50,000 for typical hospital ventilators.
According to a report by the MIT Technology Review, a team of researchers at MIT just unveiled their work on a project called the MIT Emergency Ventilator Project that could potentially save lives during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The report claims that MIT’s low-cost ventilator works with mass-produced bag valve masks that are used in ambulances to help patients breathe. Each ventilator made to MIT’s design specifications will cost $100. In contrast, the average hospital ventilator can cost as much as $50,000.
The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates.
The research team explained that the MIT “E-Vent” project was established 10 years ago to provide ventilators to developing nations around the world. However, the project’s original researchers noted that the “E-Vent” could be used in the United States during a pandemic. The team hopes that publishing the open-source design will fast track testing and approval of the device.
This report marks a shift in the tone of the coverage of MIT’s activities. Breitbart News reported in January that MIT is still apologizing over its decision to accept funding from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The institution accepted a significant amount of funds from Epstein after his 2008 conviction.