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Development of low-cost portable lung ventilators and also an automated calibration and functional test set-up

Grant number: 20/04921-7
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: May 01, 2020 - November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering - Medical Engineering
Cooperation agreement: FINEP - PIPE/PAPPE Grant
Principal researcher:William Robert Heinrich
Grantee:William Robert Heinrich
Company:Setup Automação e Controle de Processos Ltda. - EPP
CNAE: Fabricação de aparelhos e equipamentos de medida, teste e controle
Fabricação de instrumentos e materiais para uso médico e odontológico e de artigos ópticos
Instalação de máquinas e equipamentos industriais
City: Campinas
Assoc. researchers: Abel Fernando Alves de Souza ; Andréia da Silva Borges ; Carlos Augusto de Sousa Filho ; Danilo Silva de Oliveira ; Enrique de Paula ; Gerson Pizzirani Murari ; Giovanna Rocha Costa ; Giuliano Bettiol ; Guilherme Jovanini Montagner ; Heitor Gomes de Oliveira ; João Paulo Coelho Leite ; Mateus Quitério José Marques ; Rafael Giareta Falcaro ; Ricardo Henrique Leoni
Associated research grant:16/50070-3 - Hydrostatic sensor with three degrees of freedom for level measurement and high precision water slope analysis, AP.PIPE
Associated grant(s):20/06697-7 - Development of low-cost portable lung ventilators and also an automated calibration and functional test set-up, AP.PIPE


On March 20, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified COVID-19 as a global pandemic. With the unavailability of tested and effective drugs and vaccines to fight the disease, according to Ranney, M. L. (2020), the actions applicable in this scenario are extremely restricted: Social isolation and investment both in mechanical ventilators and in PPE. On January 20, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was registered in the United States. Less than 2 months later the greatest economic power on the planet announced that it would not have enough equipment to care for critically ill patients. According to The New York Times, experts estimate that the number of patients who may need ventilators could reach one million, where, unfortunately, the availability of equipment at this country is within 60,000 and 160,000 units.On February 26, Brazil confirmed the first case of the disease and the prospect is discouraging. Our country has just over 10 manufacturers that produces pulmonary ventilators, the total production capacity is 1,500 devices per month. Our national equipment park has 65 thousand ventilators, (VEJA march 27th de 2020), if the isolation measures do not flatten the disease transmission curve, the demand for this equipment can reach 630 thousand units in the worst scenario and 196 thousand in the worst scenario. best scenario (using the projection based on the American curve). Each device is sold on average for BRL 54,000. Countless actions and initiatives have emerged on a global basis to provide a quick response to the problem, from open projects for the production of very low-cost ventilators (developed by MIT), to traditional manufacturers such as Medtronic (Ireland), who have made the project of one of their models available on the internet. aiming for collaborative manufacturing to save lives. Inspired by "call-for-action" movement to combat COVID-19, SETUP's team of researchers evaluated more than 10 open projects currently available and found two critical aspects at those projects: the majority of solutions were focus at developing a extremely low-cost project, resulting in equipment that do not have the necessary robustness for continuous usage over 14 days (typical disease duration), and also haven't met the minimum requirements for control of vital function, or performance indicators that must be monitored in severely ill patients. In addition, the consolidated respirator designs in operation today use an old design concept, with proprietary designs and aren't simple to replicate or operate, requiring advanced training of the clinical staff.The proposed project consists of constructive and usability improvements of 2 models of portable pulmonary ventilators: a low-cost model, which will contain the minimum set of functions to be tested and calibrated in accordance with IEC 60601-1 and other applicable standards, and could be used in Field Hospitals; Also a full spec I.T.U. compliant model with advanced electronic control and simple interface. In addition an automated lung calibration and testing station will also be developed. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
Brazilian company develops low-cost mechanical ventilators 
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