International Business Ventures Low Cost Ventilator

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (1)
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Why This Project Is Important 

Typically hospitals maintain a sufficient number of ventilators and related medical equipment to meet current health care demands. However, a rapid influx of patients in hospitals, resulting from a pandemic or national disaster, could create a shortage of ventilators for victims in respiratory distress. Currently, the high cost of most ICU ventilators prevents hospitals from stockpiling these machines, and lower cost alternatives lack necessary safety features. 

Project Description 

International Business Ventures (IBV) Enterprise at Michigan Technological University is a Biomedical Enterprise that focuses on providing solutions for global medical problems. To improve the capabilities and safety of low-cost ventilators, we are designing a simple yet reliable ventilator that can be stockpiled by hospitals. Additionally, while ventilators are highly necessary for the treatment of most respiratory issues, they are reserved for patients that have readily available and affluent healthcare systems at their disposal. Due to this fact, there is a lack of medical ventilators in impoverished areas of the world, as well as within organizations that cannot afford to purchase expensive ventilators. In underdeveloped countries there is a critical need for affordable ventilators that complement the skill level of the physicians who will utilize them.

The team's aim is to create a ventilator that equals existing ventilators in quality but vastly outpaces the cost of others, allowing it to be the first ventilator that is financially feasible to stockpile. Our design incorporates the following features:

  • Pneumatically powered
  • Electrically controlled
  • Microcontroller control
  • High and low pressure safety alarms
  • Easy to use and intuitive controls and user interface
  • Compact for bulk storage
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Highly durable
  • Robust design

The ventilator being designed must easily and safely ventilate individuals in any environment while still meeting the standards set by respiratory therapists worldwide. Testing of various prototype designs is critical to the reliability and effectiveness of the ventilator in a real world setting. Our current design will seek to meet the following constraints:

  • Low cost (under $1000)
  • Reliability
  • Proper safety features
  • Ease of Use
  • Easily stockpiled
  • Small size
  • Portable

Meet the Researcher

Erik Wachlin

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What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Your donations will help the team with the prototyping process of the ventilator.
  • Donations will help cover the costs associated with assembling a "Ventilatory Care Package" for the in-field testing of the device.
  • Donations will help purchase the necessary medical accessories needed to allow the ventilator to deliver lifesaving care to patients.
Although there are no rewards for this project, all donors will receive an email receipt with tax-deduction information.

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Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.