COVID-19 Response by Intermed Partners
Like most people in the world we also have been impacted locally by COVID-19 and wanted to help. Our team began brainstorming on ways in which we could help both our community but other communities. We turned on our outside the box hats and got to work. We built partnerships with our local hospital Mon General, M&S Consulting, and Mountain State Capital to source and tool the lab in order to ramp up innovation and manufacturing.
We were contacted by the local national guard to come up with a simple face shield that could be made with at home products. Something Simple, Cheap, and easy to make. The #BountyShield is what we created and handed back to the National Guard to excellent reviews. It's amazing what a paper towel, transparency paper and some twine can do.
But we had to do more to help.
Our team then tackled the critical shortage of ventilators. Up to 20% of patients infected with the novel corona virus end up needing some sort of ventilation. Our quick solution was the design and build of a ventilator splitter that could service two patients with one ventilator. See more information below.
The final piece to our corona virus work will be the building of the MIT E- vent system. The E-vent although not released yet will be an Ambu bag compressor, or simple ventilator, to help treat the patients who need ventilation. Once the device passes FDA muster Intermed will ramp up production of the device to help local and regional partners.
If you have an idea or concept to help people during this crisis, let us know and maybe when can build it. Stay safe.
COVID- 19 Partners
Some hospitals in New York have already been faced with over-extensions of the healthcare infrastructure that have forced them to use techniques that allow multiple patients to use a single ventilator.
Prisma Health (in SC) has introduced an initial design and open-sourced to hospitals which, once again, Intermed Partners in partnership with Mon Health has been working on implementing and testing.
Ventilator splitting solutions come with challenges, so Intermed has been improving the designs to allow for greater efficacy of the device in real-world use cases. They are also working closely with Dr. Paul Gera, MD at Mon Health.
The Intermed design is called VSplitr. Intermed has released the designs for VSplitr this can be printed by anyone with an FSM 3D printer. Others in the community like Mon Health Foundation, M&S Consulting, and individuals at Mountain State Capital are chipping in by connecting hospitals and front-line experts (anesthesiologists) with this technology as well helping Intermed increase operational capacity to ramp up production of the devices.
Shipments of Vsplitr's have been shipped out to NYC and Pennsylvania already to help with their overcrowded hospitals.
Vsplitr printing instruction
Protocol for Ventilator Splitting
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Vsplitr White Paper
Simple, Cheap, but Effective Face Shield you can make at home.
How to make the BountyShield
MIT E-Vent Project and Intermed
Our next facet of innovation and manufacturing will be the MIT E-Vent Project. MIT is making their Ambu- Squeezing ventilator open source. We are tooling up the lab to manufacture once the plans for the device are released.
Text below is from the MIT site.
We are one of several teams who recognized the challenges faced by Italian physicians, and are working to find a solution to the anticipated global lack of ventilators. In the US alone, the COVID-19 pandemic may cause ventilator shortages on the order of 300,000-700,000 units (CDC Pandemic Response Plans). These could present on a national scale within weeks, and are already being felt in certain areas. An increase in conventional ventilator production is very likely to fall short and with significant associated cost (paywall warning).
Almost every bed in a hospital has a manual resuscitator nearby, available in the event of a rapid response or code where healthcare workers maintain oxygenation by squeezing the bag. Automating this appears to be the simplest strategy that satisfies the need for low-cost mechanical ventilation, with the ability to be rapidly manufactured in large quantities. However, doing this safely is not trivial.
Use of a bag-valve mask (BVM) in emergency situations is not a new concept. A portable ventilator utilizing a manual resuscitator was introduced in 2010 by a student team in the MIT class 2.75 Medical Device Design (original paper here and news story here), but did not move past the prototype stage. Around the same time, a team from Stanford developed a lower-cost ventilator for emergency stockpiles and the developing world. It looks similar to a modern ICU ventilator (Onebreath), but “production for US hospitals would start [in] about 11 months”, making it “a second wave solution” (MIT Tech Review Article). Last year, the concept was re-visited by two student teams, one from Rice university (here & here), and another Boston-based team who won MIT Sloan’s Healthcare prize (MIT News: Umbilizer). Other teams currently working on this challenge can be found linked on our “Additional Resources” page.