The ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has been one of the greatest challenges to humankind in centuries. COVID-19 can result in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which is a severe lung condition where ventilators need to be used. In every country affected, the rising number of COVID-19 patients in need of special attention and ventilator support in intensive care units, is becoming a severe problem for every health system as there is only a limited number of the mechanical ventilators. The ATMO-Vent (Atmospheric Mixture Optimization Ventilator) of the Group of Atmospheric Science, has been designed as a possible solution to mitigate this stress on the health systems. This project has been presented at Swedish hackathon: “Hack the Crisis” the official COVID-19 hackathon in Sweden which has reached 530 submissions in 6 categories. ATMO-Vent has been awarded as 4th, in the category of “Save Lives, concept solutions”. DIGG organized this online hackathon, Hack for Sweden, Openhack and The Swedish Government during the 3rd to 6th of April, 2020.
ATMO-Vent is a robust Do-It-Yourself (DIY) ventilator made out of Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. This ventilator has been designed as per the UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency guidelines. It can operate with some of the same functions available in a full-fledged ventilator from standard manufacturers. ATMO-Vent is capable of operating in two modes - Continuous Mandatory Ventilation (CMV) using Volume Controlled Ventilation (VCV) and in Assisted mode with Pressure Support Ventilation (PSV) and the ability to switch to CMV in case a patient is unable to trigger an inspiratory sequence in PSV mode. As in other commercial ventilators, ATMO-Vent is capable of adjusting the FiO2 levels, Respiration Rate, Inspiratory/Expiratory ratio (I/E), Peak Inspiratory Pressure (PIP) and Positive End Expiratory Pressure (PEEP). ATMO-Vent also uses some of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified components in the design to ensure safety in operation. These features make ATMO-Vent unique compared to other open-source designs available.
As the disease is spreading worldwide, there is a pressing need to fabricate and distribute critical products, that can help to heal the population now and in the future. The ATMO-Vent design will be soon fully released in an open-source format, with all the details of the components, the scheme of construction and testing and the software needed to activate its operation. Each ventilator unit can be built within three days with an investment of 750 Euro per ventilator. Its production can be scalable and can rely on the community of makers, industry and universities.