Air Collective Forum

First update - March 18th

Things are evolving quickly since we started yesterday.

How can you help tomorrow?

1. Engineers and software developers, help us make an engineer-friendly version of ARDS respiratory requirements

Dr. Botev will be on hand tomorrow to answer your questions about the ARDS medical protocol. Please click here for some background information (including two videos) and add your questions here. He will answer them on the #ards channel and we will publish this as a FAQ. It should enable more engineers to understand what to build.

2. Start prototyping respirators so we iterate designs daily
What we need now is for engineers and hardware to pick a design and try building it tomorrow. We recommend you try the MIT $100 respirator or the Mascorro model, but the choice is yours across all designs. The important thing is to try something, so designs can go through iterations and be made more relevant for local production.

(Duplication of effort is okay, actually desirable. Small groups usually work faster than big ones. So duplicating effort between small groups is faster, since the first over the line gets everyone there. Plus the diverging approaches have different successes, which get shared across all.)

For those who would like to lead a small team (or work solo) to attempt a prototype build, register your intent here.

For the rest, if you’d like to join a team, watch the team registration list evolve here and get in touch with the team leader directly if you can help.

Facilitators and connectors, please join the chat room and help anyone asking. There is a #find-me-help channel set up for these requests.

3. Help in any way you can

If you see something that you think will help, please go for it with my blessing. This works best when everyone is proactive. Just let us know what you’re up to in chat. Your help will also be welcome for anything listed below.

Updates

Progress:

  • Yesterday, Anne, who runs the farmhack.nl hardware hackathons, advised us to focus on the designs that are the most complete, because those give us the least-variable path to having quick ventilator designs ready.
  • We had feedback from Sumanth, an intern working at NYU Emergency (A&E), who only had time to look at the MIT $100 respirator design, and advised us it was good to work on, with some comments. So please give it a try!
  • We saw lots of people posting useful information on chat, so switched from a database-only to google docs “wiki” pages for each design to try and make it more intuitive for everyone to just start working on those. Putting useful information in a place where others can easily reference it will help everyone faster. Please give us feedback on this. We want everyone to find what they need easily, and collaborate naturally.
  • The website has been updated to better guide people to know what to do to help.
  • Nato has been in touch with Marco Mascorro, who designed a respirator already. He has offered to support any engineers who can try building his model in Bulgaria.
  • We have compiled a bunch of useful links from the chat
  • A number of people with links to medical equipment suppliers have offered to connect us to them
  • A few people have approached us to offer funding. I have kicked ball ahead a few days, telling them we may have projects that show enough feasibility to need funding.

Problems:

  • Our current bottleneck is finding medical professionals to review and screen device designs, to tell us which are more viable for their use. If you know any, please ask them to look at the designs without medical feedback so far (which is on) and add it there directly.
  • We don’t have visibility of what most engineers are trying at the moment, or why they’re stuck. We’re all ears on ways to do this, and are trying a little form and table in airtable.

Plans:

  • We are working through official channels in Bulgaria to get medical advisors to screen designs.
  • We are looking for volunteers to help build a requirements document for the ARDS protocol. This is the medical protocol for respirators, but not understandable without medical experience. So we need people who understand this to answer questions from engineers so we can share an engineer-friendly version

Thank you for your help, and please stay safe.

  • Sal, Nato, Boyana and the growing DIY crew