Vent-A-Nation: International Business Venture Hopes to Save Lives

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (2)
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Why This Project Is Important 

Every year, millions of premature infants die because of their inability to breathe. Ventilators cost upwards of $40,000 and developing countries may not have the resources or the capability to employ these life-saving devices. This project is focused on developing a low cost, simple, durable and effective ventilator that would be readily available in developing countries. With the distribution of our ventilator, thousands of lives could be saved.

To improve the capabilities and safety of low-cost ventilators, we are designing a simple yet reliable ventilator that can be stockpiled by hospitals. In underdeveloped countries there is a critical need for affordable ventilators that complement the skill level of the physicians who will utilize them.

Project Description 

To figure out how to meet these requirements, the ventilator team has been studying their previous design and looking at the aspects that did work and did not work and trying to determine why.

Through continuous brainstorming, the team began the reverse engineering of industry-standard veterinary ventilators to find mechanisms that will become part of the new approach. Currently this research has been carried out by two subgroups of the Ventilator team. The information gathered is being discussed as the semester progresses on.

Our design incorporates the following features:

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

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 $1,000)
  • Reliability
  • Proper safety features
  • Ease of Use
  • Easily stockpiled
  • Small size Portable

Meet the Researchers

Lyndsey Suyama

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Robert Warrington

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of $10,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $505
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Continue researching components of ventilator systems
  • Purchase necessary materials to further the development of the ventilator
  • Travel expenses to test the prototype in developing countries
Although there are no rewards for this project, all donors will receive an email receipt with tax-deduction information.

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